Ruga can cause explosion, Soyinka warns FG

Nobel laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, on Tuesday warned the Federal Government that its handling of Ruga herdsmen settlements could spark an explosion in the country.

Soyinka, at the inauguration of the United Nations Solutions 17 SDG programme in Lagos, said the Ruga project of the Federal Government was not the best approach to resolving the herders-farmers’ clashes.

The Nobel laureate said this just as the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom; the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Afenifere, the Middle Belt Forum and other groups clashed with the Presidency on Tuesday over the project.

Soyinka faulted the Federal Government over the project. He stated, “Ruga is going to be an explosion if not handled with care. But why do we not take our policies from good models?

“This is not the way people and countries deal with issues of cattle. I travel everywhere. It has to be handled in a way that is logical, comprehensible to the environment. When a cow walks up to the window of my house in Abeokuta, a house which is located in a residential area, then there’s a problem.

“When a cow goes to Ijebu Ode and eats up their seedlings and so on and you expect people to be quiet? People have been killed in hundreds just because of the failure of leadership at a critical time.

“And the cattle herders have been given a sense of impunity. They kill without any compunction, they drive away the farmers who have been contributing to the food solutions in the country, the cattle eat their crops and then you come up with Ruga.

“I think that there is going to be trouble in this country if this Ruga thing is not handled imaginatively and with humanity as priority. Any country where cattle take priority over human life is definitely at an elementary stage.”

Credit : The Punch

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