Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Eastern senatorial zone, comprising Igala people in Kogi State, has rejected the Federal government’s suspended grazing reserves, otherwise known as Ruga for Fulani herdsmen across the country.
The leaders from the eastern zone took the decision in Kaduna at the weekend during formal inauguration of officials of Ukomu Igala, a socio-cultural organisation for Igala sons and daughters at home and in the Diaspora.
Speaking on behalf of the people, a founding member of the organisation, and elder statesman, Mr. Samuel Salifu, noted that in the next 30 years, Igala population would have redoubled with little or no space to accommodate the people.
To this end, Salifu said if Ruga is accepted in the eastern area, there wouldl be no space for future generation as cows would have replaced human beings and taken over available land for cultivation.
He said: “By 2050 (i.e. another 30 years) the Igala population would have doubled, our youths doubled – we will need double space – if Ruga is accepted in Kogi East, then there will be no place for our future generation. Cows will replace human beings, the available land and will not be sufficient for us to cultivate our foodstuffs! As at the present time, the Ruganites have been knocking on our doors at Abejukolo, lyade, Ayede, Ogane Inugu towns.
“Ukomu Igala had already said NO to cattle colony and the Igala people are repeating a resounding no to ruganization. The space given to us in the community of Nigeria is for us and our Igala children – not for Fulani cows. They are nomads – we are not. Within 10 years our population already increased by 755,000 (2006-2018). The present government at the centre seems to enjoy the penchant of foisting confusion and deliberately provoking violence.
“May we remind all and sundry that the Igala nation predates the 16th century as against the Danfodio colonisation of the early century. The Igala have never been conquered by the Fulani and by the grace of the Almighty, we shall never be conquered. Igala is Igala and we are saying NO toruganization. Kogi State government should know its limits concerning federal policies it imposes on the local people. If we may ask “who funds the ruganisation? Has the National Assembly discussed such a bill?”