Bello Matawalle, governor of Zamfara, has said Ruga settlements in states will end the spate of banditry in Nigeria.
Matawalle said this during an interview on The Osasu Show, noting that the initiative will make herdsmen remain at one place and “they don’t have to go round Nigeria to cause havoc”.
“Zamfara is a home of everybody, both Fulani and Hausa. This Fulani comes to the town to do their shopping and go back to the forest but whenever vigilante group see any Fulani man, they will slaughter him. And Fulani doesn’t forget and forgive, if you kill one of their persons, they will come for a reprisal,” Matawalle said.
“Those that are holding sticks before, that is the Fulani man, now you see him holding AK47, AK49 and he uses it to do his own business; kidnapping people to get ransom, killing people to take their cows and property.
“When the crisis started, the vigilante groups have been killing the Fulanis, killing their cows, burning their huts. So, most of them now are homeless, they have no cow, they have nothing. All they have is that gun. But we want to collect it from them to integrate them to the society. We’ll do some development project for them, give them education.
“So, when we stopped vigilante groups from killing Fulani, we called all of them together, we heard from both sides and we now sort out the best way in order to stop the banditry activities. And now, the Fulani has started releasing those under captivity.”
On his plans for the farmers and vigilante groups affected by the herdsmen crisis, Matawalle said: “We are trying to do Ruga, I have already ordered for that…so that we can maintain them in one place, they will not go round with their cows, because as far as they have their social amenities in one area, they’ll remain there. So, they don’t have to go round Nigeria to cause havoc.
“By the time each and every state can do this, particularly in northern Nigeria, I assure you our Fulani will never travel to any other state., they’ll remain where they are.”