The Adamawa state government on Saturday in Yola inaugurated a 6-man committee for the implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Program
Chief Crowther Seth, deputy governor of the state, while inaugurating members of the committee, charged them to find a lasting solution between herders and farmers in the state.
Professor Ambrose Voh, chairman of the committee, however, denied the program had anything to do with the controversial Ruga issue.
He added, “Strategies have been designed not only for Adamawa to key into the program, but to be ahead of others. The existing 68 gazetted grazing reserves in the state will be used to kick start the ranching program. Two members of the Adamawa committee are actually members of the national team.”
Checks revealed that ‘ruga’ is a Hausa word for ‘Fulani pastoralists settlement’, better known as a cattle ranch.
There are however discontent among indigenes of the state who feel that the program is a ploy by the federal government to amass their ancestral lands for the exclusive benefit of Fulani pastoralists.
Public views sampled among various groupings revealed bitter suspicion, as the general understanding is that the program is nothing but the controversial ‘Ruga initiative’, rejected in Benue state.
Gyan Pam, a resident of Yola, argued that “this program as outlined, focuses only on Fulanis, just as it is fixated with their trade. Because cattle herding is a single branch of the livestock sector.”
Pam said further, “Whether, in the livestock transformational program as proposed by the federal government, is there any plan for my people to rear pigs and other animals?”
Other concerns as expressed, bother on the nationality of the herders, as the federal government had at several fora insisted that killer herdsmen, were foreign nationals from either Mali or Senegal.