RUGA: THE SOCIO-CULTURAL IMPLICATIONS IN THE SOUTH EAST REGION

Njideka Ebisi (PhD), Adaeze Linda Olisa

Abstract


The idea of Ruga Settlements for herders came into public consciousness in the last week of May 2019, an attempt by the federal government to solve the current reoccurring dangerous clashes between the farmers and the herdsmen of Fulani extract.  Horrifying tales of these gruesome attacks and their divisive consequences remains fresh in the minds of millions of Nigerians and have continued to threaten the unity of the country, hence the idea and need for a paradigm shift in nomadic lifestyle in Nigeria, a programme geared towards removing nomads from the streets, from wandering across towns and communities. A 10-year plan to end nomadic lifestyle with its attendant security challenges, linked to kidnapping and killings.  But contrary to the foregoing belief, it is obvious that the state of insecurity in the country has continued on the rise; the Ohaneze Ndigbo, governors of the south eastern states and the Middle Belt have at different forums reacted to the nefarious and dangerous activities of these herdsmen, and several other reactions from well-meaning Nigerians.  These ultimately led to the suspension of the Ruga Project which was already awarded.  Therefore, it is in the light of this development that this paper attempts to unravel the socio-cultural implications of the proposed Ruga project in the South East Region of Nigeria.  This study recommends among others that government should adopt an all-inclusive government policy with several stake holder involvements at the early stage of policy development, with massive campaign and awareness to educate the masses on any future development programme before its implementation. Government should also adopt both traditional and modern conflict management strategies in Nigeria.


Keywords


RUGA, Settlements, herdsmen, Socio-cultural, Implications

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