Literary icon, Prof Wole Soyinka, has joined the increasing list of people voicing opposition to the federal government’s proposal to establish Ruga settlements across the nation for herdsmen.
The Nobel laureate, while speaking in Lagos at the launch of the United Nations’ Solutions 17 SDG programme on Tuesday, July 2, chided the government for the idea, The Nation reports.
Legit.ng gathers that Soyinka said the settlements can cause the country to explode.
“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 cattle 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 cattle goes to Ijebu Ode and eat up their plant seedlings and so on and you expect people to be quiet?”
According to Soyinka, President Muhammadu Buhari’s handling of the herdsmen issue was enough to make his lose re-election
“President Buhari deserved to have lost the last election for the lackadaisical attitude he took to the issue of cattle rearing in the country.
“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 takes priority over human life is definitely at an elementary stage.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the governor of Plateau state, Simon Lalong, in the evening of Monday, July 1, described as unnecessary, the controversy that the proposed Ruga settlements had generated among Nigerians.
Lalong, who earlier met with President Muhammadu Buhari, said Ruga was no different from ranching.
The governor, who spoke with State House correspondents after the meeting with Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said as a member of the food security committee as well as that of the herdsmen/farmers committee, they had agreed that ranching was the main solution to the crisis in some states.