Kano state Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has said the controversies surrounding the issue of RUGA were unnecessary, insisting the policy should not be a national issue.
Ganduje also called on the federal government to immediately ban the movement of herdsmen from the North to the South as a way to ending frequent clashes between them and the farmers.
The governor also said there’s no plan to remove Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as Emir of Kano, even as he expressed conviction the new emirate councils have come to stay.
Addressing journalists Tuesday in Abuja ahead of his 100 days in office, Ganduje, the second term governor, also responded to agitation that his party, APC should discontinue zoning of presidency for competency ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Ganduje had recently asked all the herdsmen in the South to relocate to Kano, assuring his government would provide social amenities like hospital, veterinary clinic, market, security post and schools so that herdsmen would enjoy facilities just like other Nigerians.
Reiterating the belief, the governor said: “We have big five forests which we are converting to be grazing reserves, including Falgore forest. We have already had technical committee working on it. We have already awarded contract of water which is being provided as we construct some tanks in some places.
“In order to solve the problem of farmers/herders clashes, the federal government should ban herdsmen trekking from the northern part of Nigeria to the southern part of Nigeria because along the way, you get so many problems.”
On why herdsmen should take the business as socio-economic issue, Ganduje said: “The herdsmen in Nigeria need to improve, the herdsmanship is no more a socio-cultural issue, it should be a socio-economic issue, but the way they are managing it is socio-cultural because they have not succeeded in fighting poverty and poverty had not succeeded in fighting them.
“A herdsman, you cannot call him poor man because he’s moving with cows worth millions of naira. But if he treks thousands of kilometres, you cannot distinguish him from a poor man, so that he has not succeeded in killing poverty and poverty has not succeeded in killing him.”
When asked on his relationship with the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Ganduje said: “The Emir of Kano has no problem with the creation of new Emirates in Kano. Of course, he had a problem with anti-corruption agency and the committee investigated him and submitted a report to the state government.
“Many people have been appealing to allow peace and stability in the state. The state government has already said that we do not intend to remove the Emir of Kano. But at the same time, we are sceptical in controlling the anti-corruption agency because it is an independent body. But I believe there is peace and stability in the state.
“The role the Emir played during the election has to do with his own conviction. What is important is that we have won the election and we are not going to look back. So, the creation of Emirates has nothing to do with that misunderstanding. After all, Abubakar Rimi of blessed memory created Emirates.”
On the report recently credited to Kaduna state Governor Nasir El-rufai that zoning arrangement should be jettisoned in APC, Ganduje said, “The way I look at it is that it is an issue between idealism and realism. Idealism is a situation whereby things should be done in accordance with ideas. If things are done like that, then everybody should have equal treatment and everybody has equal chance to contest and then, what the people decide should be done. Now, the issue of realism,. Nigeria is a multi ethnic, multi-religious country with several geopolitical zones. In reality, people are yearning for participation of different political zones and not the politics of north and south.
“So, the reality of the situation is that people are crying of marginalisation in the leadership of the country. But the idealism is that people should participate and be elected based on their capacity. So, it is not the governor of Kano state that should decide whether it is idealism or realism. It is the party that will determine which should be applied in Nigeria and you know that it is a political strategy. So, the political party should decide which option to follow.”