Breaking News : Full Text of Former President Obasanjo to president Buhari on insecurity and National security

I am constrained to write to you this open letter. I decided to make it an open letter because the issue is very weighty and must be greatly worrisome to all concerned Nigerians and that means all right – thinking Nigerians and those resident in Nigeria . Since the issue is of momentous concern to all well -meaning and all right – thinking Nigerians , it must be of great concern to you , and collective thinking and dialoguing is the best way of finding an appropriate and adequate solution to the problem . The contents of this letter, therefore , should be available to all those who can help in proffering effective solutions for the problem of insecurity in the land .
One of the spinoffs and accelerants is the misinformation and disinformation through the use of fake news . A number of articles , in recent days , have been attributed to me by some people who I believe may be seeking added credence and an attentive audience for their opinions and viewpoints . As you know very well , I will always boldly own what I say and disown what is put into my mouth . But the issue I am addressing here is very serious ; it is the issue of life and death for all of us and for our dear country , Nigeria . This issue can no longer be ignored, treated with nonchalance , swept under the carpet or treated with cuddling glove.
READ ALSO : Obasanjo writes Buhari , says Nigeria reaching a tipping point
The issue is hitting at the foundation of our existence as Nigerians and fast eroding the root of our Nigerian community . I am very much worried and afraid that we are on the precipice and dangerously reaching a tipping point where it may no longer be possible to hold danger at bay . Without being immodest, as a Nigerian who still bears the scar of the Nigerian civil war on my body and with a son who bears the scar of fighting Boko Haram on his body , you can understand , I hope , why I am so concerned . When people are desperate and feel that they cannot have confidence in the ability of government to provide security for their lives and properties, they will take recourse to anything and everything that can guarantee their security individually and collectively .
For over ten years, for four of which you have been the captain of the ship , Boko Haram has menacingly ravaged the land and in spite of government ’s claim of victory over Boko Haram , the potency and the activities of Boko Haram , where they are active , remain undiminished , putting lie to government ’ s claim . The recent explanation of the Chief of Army Staff for non -victory due to lack of commitment and lack of motivation on the part of troops bordering on sabotage speaks for itself . Say what you will , Boko Haram is still a daily issue of insecurity for those who are victimised, killed, maimed , kidnapped , raped , sold into slavery and forced into marriage and for children forcibly recruited into carrying bombs on them to detonate among crowds of people to cause maximum destructions and damage . And Boko Haram will not go away on the basis of sticks alone, carrots must overweigh sticks . How else do you deal with issues such as only about 50 % literacy in North – East with over 70 % unemployment?
Herdsmen / farmers crises and menace started with government treating the issue with cuddling glove instead of hammer . It has festered and spread . Today , it has developed into banditry , kidnapping, armed robbery and killings all over the country . The unfortunate situation is that the criminality is being perceived as a ‘ Fulani’ menace unleashed by Fulani elite in the different parts of the country for a number of reasons but even more , unfortunately, many Nigerians and non -Nigerians who are friends of Nigeria attach vicarious responsibility to you as a Fulani elite and the current captain of the Nigeria ship. Perception may be as potent as reality at times. Whatever may be the grievances of Fulanis , if any , they need to be put out in the open and their grievances , if legitimate , be addressed; and if other ethnic groups have grievances , let them also be brought out in the open and addressed through debate and dialogue .
The main issue , if I may dare say , is poor management or mismanagement of diversity which , on the other hand , is one of our greatest and most important assets . As a result , very onerous cloud is gathering. And rain of destruction , violence, disaster and disunity can only be the outcome . Nothing should be taken for granted , the clock is ticking with the cacophony of dissatisfaction and disaffection everywhere in and outside the country . The Presidency and the Congress in the US have signalled to us to put our house in order . The House of Lords in the UK had debated the Nigerian security situation . We must understand and appreciate the significance , implication and likely consequences of such concerns and deliberations.
No one can stop hate speech, violent agitation and smouldering violent agitation if he fans the embers of hatred, disaffection and violence. It will continue to snowball until it is out of control. A stitch in time saves nine, goes the old wise saying .
With the death of Funke , Chief Fasoranti ’s daughter , some sympathetic Nigerian groups are saying “ enough is enough” . Prof. Anya , a distinguished Nigerian merit Laureate, has this to say “ We can no longer say with certainty that we have a nation ” . Niger -Delta leaders , South -Eastern leaders , Middle – Belt leaders and Northern Elders Forum have not remained quiet. Different ordinary Nigerians at home and abroad are calling for different measures to address or ameliorate the situation . All the calls and cries can only continue to be ignored at the expense of Nigerian unity , if not its continued existence .
To be explicit and without equivocation , Mr . President and General, I am deeply worried about four avoidable calamities :
1 . abandoning Nigeria into the hands of criminals who are all being suspected, rightly or wrongly , as Fulanis and terrorists of Boko Haram type;
2 . spontaneous or planned reprisal attacks against Fulanis which may inadvertently or advertently mushroom into pogrom or Rwanda -type genocide that we did not believe could happen and yet it happened .
3 . similar attacks against any other tribe or ethnic group anywhere in the country initiated by rumours , fears , intimidation and revenge capable of leading to pogrom;
4 . violent uprising beginning from one section of the country and spreading quickly to other areas and leading to dismemberment of the country .
It happened to Yugoslavia not too long ago . If we do not act now , one or all of these scenarios may happen . We must pray and take effective actions at the same time . The initiative is in the hands of the President of the nation , but he cannot do it alone. In my part of the world, if you are sharpening your cutlass and a mad man comes from behind to take the cutlass from you , you need other people ’ s assistance to have your cutlass back without being harmed. The mad men with serious criminal intent and terrorism as core value have taken cutlass of security. The need for assistance to regain control is obviously compelling and must be embraced now .
A couple of weeks ago at a public lecture , I had said, among other things , that :
“ In all these issues of mobilisation for national unity , stability , security, cooperation , development , growth and progress , there is no consensus . Like in the issue of security, government should open up discussion , debate and dialogue as part of consultation at different levels and the outcome of such deliberations should be collated to form inputs into a national conference to come up with the solution that will effectively deal with the issues and lead to rapid development , growth and progress which will give us a wholesome society and enhanced living standard and livelihood in an inclusive and shared society . It will be a national programme . We need unity of purpose and nationally accepted strategic roadmap that will not change with whims and caprices of any government . It must be owned by the citizens, people ’s policy and strategy implemented by the government no matter its colour and leaning .
Some of the groups that I will suggest to be contacted are : traditional rulers , past heads of service ( no matter how competent or incompetent they have been and how much they have contributed to the mess we are in) , past heads of para -military organisations , private sector , civil society , community leaders particularly in the most affected areas , present and past governors, present and past local government leaders , religious leaders , past Heads of State , past intelligence chiefs , past Heads of Civil Service and relevant current and retired diplomats, members of opposition and any groups that may be deemed relevant. ”
The President must be seen to be addressing this issue with utmost seriousness and with maximum dispatch and getting all hands on deck to help . If there is failure, the principal responsibility will be that of the President and no one else . We need cohesion and concentration of effort and maximum force – political , economic , social, psychological and military – to deal successfully with the menace of criminality and terrorism separately and together . Blame game among own forces must be avoided . It is debilitating and only helpful to our adversary . We cannot dither anymore . It is time to confront this threat headlong and in a manner that is holistic , inclusive and purposeful .
For the sake of Nigeria and Nigerians , I pray that God may grant you, as our President , the wisdom, the understanding , the political will and the courage to do what is right when it is right and without fear or favour . May God save , secure , protect and bless Nigeria. May He open to us a window of opportunity that we can still use to prevent the worst happening . As we say in my village , “ May God forbid bad thing” .
OLUSEGUN OBASANJO
July 15 , 2019
Released by
Kehinde Akinyemi
Special Assistant Media.

Advertisements

Who will save Nigeria? By Shaka Momodu

It is no longer news that the All Progressives Congress (APC) has successfully installed its preferred members at the helm of the National Assembly. The victory dance and partying is still on. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry for my beloved country. Nigeria has become a carnival feast for the APC. Who knows when the sun will rise again and break this incantation of darkness that has gripped this land?
There is a general consensus amongst Nigerians that the ruling APC does whatever it wants and does not give a damn about morality, the rule of law, values or tradition. When discussing with people, evaluating developments and situations, they readily tell you, “Ha ha!! APC is not the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) oo!!” “They don’t respect rules at all.” “They do whatever they like unafraid of the consequences unlike the PDP that showed some restraint in the face of opposition from the public.” “It’s either their way or no way!” And to achieve their way, the party is prepared to bring down any institution of state.
Those reactions didn’t just fall from the sky. It is the character portrait defined by the behaviours of party members which have largely shaped the perception of the APC in the last four years. While it campaigned to restore order and morality to governance, it repeatedly posed the greatest danger to such values and ethos that hold society together. The APC blurs the line between good old precious values, as we knew them, and bad behaviour and outright criminality. Previously forbidden behaviour is now the entrenched gold standard to advance one’s political career under the APC. Some of us who thought the PDP was bad are sighing wearily in regret and consternation at the monster that Nigerians have elected (someone said they selected themselves) to replace it.
For some who thought change had come to Nigeria, it’s a rude awakening to the reality we are dealing with. Many were even still languishing in deep denial as the party of change wasted no time to break PDP’s worst records in every area and showed its true colours the moment it tasted power. Come to think of it, what did you expect when a man of doubtful integrity joined forces with his companion in Lagos who has become a parasite on the state he once governed and still “governs” – a controversial and stupendously wealthy politician whose sources of wealth and influence will scandalize an island of vermin, and whose sense of right and wrong is governed by profiteering?
When the full extent of his looting of the state is audited and laid bare, it will arguably trigger an avalanche of mega protests. There will be calls for swift and decisive justice from the people. All those who aided and abetted him will not be spared. A man who should have lost any legitimacy long ago has now found himself more powerful and influential than ever. Every time he opens his mouth on national issues, he offends the moral values of the country and our sensibilities.
Now, they have successfully installed men with criminal tendencies in leadership positions of the people’s parliament.
As the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila is now number four in the political hierarchy in the country. APC chose him despite his not-too-sterling past while in the US. His alleged debarment by the Georgia Supreme Court, after allegedly pleading guilty to charges of professional misconduct, was said to have earned him a 36-month practice suspension. His conduct was repugnant to the American sense of morality, values and code of behaviour. While Gbajabiamila may have been “extremely remorseful for the consequences of his conduct” before the disciplinary authorities that tried him in the US, the party of change that fielded him back home as a lawmaker and promoted him to the position of Speaker had no scruples about the message and implications of having such a flawed character as the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Here again lie the inherent contradictions between the stellar qualities that drive society’s moral code and the vices that constantly strive to shortchange those values.
I am just as crestfallen by the emergence of Senator Omo Agege as the Deputy Senate President. It’s a pity that many of our people stand for nothing. The APC has come to symbolise all that is wrong with Nigeria and Nigerians. Let me refresh your memory. On April 17, 2018, Omo Agege led thugs in a commando-style operation into the hallowed chambers to steal the mace, the symbol of authority of the Senate to protest his six-month suspension from the Senate. It appeared to be a carefully planned attack with security agents unfortunately looking the other way. His thugs stole the mace, the symbol of authority of the Senate. We were later told it was found under a bridge in Abuja. Case closed.
No charges were ever brought against him for the obvious crimes he committed simply because he prides himself on his loyalty to President Muhammadu Buhari and as you know, the system is subservient to anyone who claims to be a Buhari supporter. Instead, he was astonishingly rewarded with the number two position in the Senate by the APC leadership. How can we ever explain this to our children?
Orji Uzor Kalu is now a senator. Oh My God! Who did Nigeria offend? Kalu has been on trial for corruption and money laundering charges for over 12 years. He and his lawyers have been using every tactic in the book to frustrate the conclusion of the case. Kalu is mocking the country and its legal system. He is having a good laugh at our expense. And he is succeeding in gaming the system. I am astonished that the judge handling his case gave him the latitude for the shenanigans he is rubbing in our faces. He is either asking for an adjournment to enable him travel to Germany for surgery or to attend to a pressing matter. Few days after he will travel to Buhari’s town of Daura in Katsina to receive a chieftaincy title and shower accolades on the president.
After each worthless title he receives, he assaults our sensibilities by splashing photos of the event in the newspapers. He has stalled his trial by making excuses after excuses not to be in court. What kind of judge tolerates and allows such contempt for his court? He has been strutting around trying to get the attention of the president. He even had the audacity to say the South-east should not expect anything from Buhari since they did not vote for him. Only in Nigeria can this happen. This is the man the party of change gave its platform to become a lawmaker to make laws for people like you and I who have stayed on the straight and narrow path.
The mind-boggling revelations of fleecing and reckless looting of taxpayers’ money coming out of Zamfara, Bauchi and Imo States, hitherto presided over by governors of the “party of change”, leave a bitter taste in one’s mouth. Former Governor Abdulazeez Yari of Zamfara State was alleged to have spent a whopping N251 billion on fictitious contracts. This was a governor who was always in Abuja. His state is the poorest in the country and has the least national common entrance enrollment. Yari brought no development or progress to his people, instead he pauperised them and left the state worse than he met it. He was one of the star governors of the APC until he fell out of favour with the national leadership of the party. Yari has not been “grabbed” by the anti-corruption agencies and charged to court to account for his stewardship.
Former Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha, who spent more money on the building of worthless statues than on provision of social infrastructure, will remain a blight on Imo State for a long time to come. His emergence as governor is similar to the whirlwind expectations and hope that heralded Buhari to power – where the people thought in him they had found a saviour. Unfortunately, as in Buhari’s case, he was a disaster. A wicked and callous man. He was said to have looted N50 billion worth of property belonging to the state. Until there is a full audit of his tenure, we may not know how much he took and the extent of the damage he wreaked on the state. He has NOT been “grabbed” by the anti-corruption agencies. Instead, he is walking free as a senator.
What do you have to say about Bauchi State where the former governor Mohammed Abubakar was said to have spent N2.3 billion in five months on burials? This is one of such moments that leave you breathless and dumbfounded by a combination of man’s ingenuity and ruthlessness in stealing public funds. The full extent of his management of Bauchi State is yet to be ascertained.
He too has not been “grabbed” by the anti-corruption agencies.
Former Osun State governor, Rauf Aregbesola ran his state aground during his 8-year tenure. He left over 30 months’ salary and pension arrears unpaid. He has NOT been “grabbed” by the anti-corruption agencies to account for his stewardship. Instead, he has relocated to Lagos, interfering in the new administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-olu. Aregbesola, a certified failure in governance is said to be eyeing ministerial position after mismanaging his state for eight good years. Should he get it, it will be the greatest tragedy ever committed in human resource recruitment.
When you compare all these with the speed with which the EFCC moved against the former Ekiti State governor, Ayo Fayose, then you begin to appreciate the ‘One Nation Two Moralities’ principle of this APC government. The party sure knows how to protect its own.
The discontinuation of the trial of former Gombe State governor, Senator Danjuma Goje through nolle prosequi has not only exposed the insincerity of the anti-corruption sing-song of this government, it has consolidated the fraud and grand deception being perpetrated against the Nigerian people. This sudden disinterest in prosecuting Goje came after he was prevailed upon to step down for Ahmed Lawan in the race for the Senate Presidency. It was rumoured then that the trade-off would be the discontinuation of his corruption and money laundering trial. Few believed it then. But as everything about this government that usually starts as a rumour, it has come to pass.
Instructively, the very same week the government’s anti-graft body, the EFCC was lavishly celebrating the court-ordered forfeiture of jewelry, watches, trinkets, etc. belonging to the former Petroleum Resources Minister, Diezani Alison Madueke, the federal government entered the nolle prosequi on the Goje’s corruption case. Buhari’s vocal supporters have no problem with such brazen abuse of power and double standard. They have suspended their reasoning ability in matters concerning the president’s shenanigans. Buhari’s government sure knows how to throw those it considers its enemies under the bridge.
Who will save Nigeria from these people?
The party of change and its promoters had shouted from the rooftops claiming superior moral calling in the past. It is vexatious and highly provocative to say the least that they simply spewed pious platitudes about trying to rebuild and reorder our country; even proposing pathways to moral and fiscal rectitude. But what we have seen so far is a party populated by vandals with a destructive heritage and thieving culture. It is an irony of immense proportions that it now poses the greatest danger to Nigeria’s corporate existence.
We are trauma-fatigued by the volume of despairing and seemingly endless stream of bad news we are now daily force-fed by this APC-led government. I can bet my bottom kobo, there will be no respite any time soon. Provocative proposals we had once thought were inconceivable, are proposed daily by this clueless and incompetent government. It is hard to be an optimist in the face of all this.
The president came to power with an ethnic agenda. His character portrait very well forewarned us about the danger he poses to Nigeria’s corporate existence. Some of us warned relentlessly about the dire consequences of electing Buhari but were called names. Those who were more experienced, and far more familiar with the actualities of Buhari’s historical fumbles with the Nigerian state – intellectuals, businessmen, journalists joined the bandwagon of anarchists, feudalists, primitive wealth accumulators, etc. to railroad one of the least qualified persons to the most important position in the country. Since his ascendancy, the country has moved from the promise of hope to the agony of nightmare. Who will save this land from bloodbath flowing everywhere?
It should be recalled that Buhari’s first consideration immediately he was sworn in as president in 2015 was a grazing bill. That action fitted perfectly with the rumoured agenda of the president. When it was shot down, the herdsmen unleashed unprecedented violence on communities across the country, particularly in the North-central zone as the government looked on with perplexing indifference. Then came the idea of cattle colony, it failed also. Sensing that their patron saint was on the ropes, there was a sudden lull in the herdsmen’s reign of terror and the proposal for the cattle colony was put in abeyance as the presidential election approached. Having secured another term of four years through a very flawed election stolen for him by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Buhari in rapid succession reportedly proposed a N100 billion payout to Miyetti Allah to stop the kidnappings and killings and approved a repackaged older product (colony) as Ruga. Buhari knows what he is doing. Those who think they have heard the last of Ruga had better remain vigilant. Buhari is not going to give up until he uses the power of his office to give advantage to his ethnic stock. And for those who sold him to Nigerians as the best thing to happen to this country, I hope they will be courageous enough to take responsibility for the tragedy the country has become.
Who will save Nigeria?
The answer is blowing in the wind.

El-Rufai’s ‘two-country’ lie By Abimbola Adelakun

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, spoke at the Northern Youth Summit organised to deliberate on developing northern Nigeria. He painted a picture of Nigeria’s defective growth and development. El-Rufai said two countries presently inhabit the womb of Nigeria and while northern Nigeria ranks the same as war-torn Afghanistan, southern Nigeria is “developing.” His speech was full of other ethnic-tinged howlers, and curiously, that was where he stopped. He did not get to the part where he reflected on the role the elite like him played in the fate of the North.
Truly, the worst-hit states in almost all the measurements of growth and development are in northern Nigeria, and that is not surprising. Years of militant convictions, of religious doctrines and abysmal leadership have birthed a concatenation of poverty, diseases, terror, violence, banditry, drug abuse, and other indices of social breakdown. El-Rufai is right that Nigeria’s weight of poverty, illiteracy and other indices of underdevelopment sag in the North. Whatever hope one has that Nigeria can overcome its challenges is usually dashed by taking just a cursory look at the northern situation. The region has been a quasi-war zone with the North-East a theatre of war since Boko Haram’s 2009 uprising. The North, however, is not monolithic neither is Nigeria’s underdevelopment limited to that region; almost every Nigerian is a victim of Nigeria!
El-Rufai said other things, some of them factual enough. At the same time, we should be careful about a complacent narrative that pits a “backward North” with “developing South.” This dichotomous rhetoric should give us pause. Notice that “developing” is in the present tense? That gives the impression that the South is undergoing some economic rejuvenation and social refurbishment that is being denied the North. Words are powerful, and in a tribalised polity such as ours, they also have policy implications. When those words are uttered by someone like el-Rufai, we need to be circumspect and even paranoid. In 2016, Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima, also contrasted the “two countries” inhabiting Nigeria saying, “poverty wears a northern cap,” while the South is “more stable and prosperous.” These look like a chain of spin narratives by political actors to eventually dispossess other longsuffering Nigerians what they have achieved in their region in spite of atrocious Nigerian leadership.
Why is the lamentation about the northern condition coming up at the time general sensibility has it that Nigeria is being Islamised and “Fulanised”? The managers of Nigeria’s affairs have not tackled the perception that undergirds the reality of Fulani hegemony. They have instead doubled down on their clannish proclivities. Now, el-Rufai wants us to believe that southern Nigeria has a comparative advantage over the North? No, there is no “developing South” anywhere; all of us are jointly diminished by the leadership class. Southern Nigeria too suffers from the problem of poverty, ill-literacy, and poor infrastructure.
Nigeria has failed to grow and develop like any other country where the elite are more concerned with state capture for their friends; where rentier mentality informs revenue generation, and the politics of religion subtends policies and projects. From the South to the North, the Nigerian tale is that of poverty, dilapidation, and abject waste of human resources. If el-Rufai had looked well enough, he would have seen that even the South suffers from a chronic lack of infrastructure and resources. Southern Nigeria is at the lowest ebb in the history of modern Nigeria. The only thing that has grown is the population, and at an exponential rate that cannot be sustained by available infrastructure. From schools to hospitals, public infrastructure, and social welfare, southern Nigeria lives on past glory. The federal roads that pass by my childhood home in Ibadan, constructed over 40 years ago, have not received a single tar in more than 20 years. The manufacturing industries that we grew up with are long moribund, and most families today do not have enough to survive let alone boast disposable income. In terms of revenue, Lagos State is the outlier and even what they generate disappears into the sinkhole of corruption and incompetence. The state of their infrastructure does not reflect the level of resources they generate.
So, where did el-Rufai see “developing South”?
We should not get carried away with the misery of the “backward North” benchmarked against the “developing South” and allow el-Rufai to get away with tales that lack introspection. If the North is sinking because of its social troubles, it is because its leaders – including el-Rufai – prefer it that way. There is a reason the northern states fund religious pilgrimages and mass weddings (to boost reproduction) ahead of education and health. Recently, the Buhari administration reversed itself on the purported almajiri ban and none of them was struck by the urgency of the almajiri situation to protest. One even wonders why an administration known for not keeping promises bothered to contradict itself when it could just not back its announcement with action. By merely announcing a ban, the administration must have rattled the elite so much it had to reassure them by publicly backtracking. One can only imagine what the proposed ban did to the political and religious establishments whose privileges are built with the blood and flesh of almajiri children.
After President Goodluck Jonathan lost the election in 2015, former Kano State governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, boasted that it was their almajiri children they mobilised to win the election. As far as Kwankwaso and co are concerned, their wretched of the earth are bred so their thumbs could be harvested. It means nothing to them that those children are one of the reasons Nigeria is the poverty capital of the world. They have no plan for neither their present nor their future. They keep their almajiri class unhealthy in both body and mind so they perpetually serve the feudal elite. That is why, despite all the lamentations of el-Rufai, he did not ascribe blame where it belongs.
Finally, let me emphasise that in this season of post-truths, we should be wary of seemingly obvious truths, especially those that proceed from the mouths of politicians. El-Rufai is an influential politician, and he only needs to repeat the myth of a northern region that is disadvantaged compared to its southern counterpart before it becomes a refrain. Before you know it, the propaganda of “developing South” vs. “backward North” will gain so much ground they will launch a policy that will cannibalise the South to divert resources to the northern region.
El-Rufai rightly recognised that the North has a “demographic superiority” over the South. That means they have the political leverage to successfully wangle an agenda that will favour a section of the country against the other. Northern politicians dominate power at the federal level. The southern politicians are bought over, and their most radical response to issues is to nod in acquiescence to “orders from above” like hand-operated toys. It was before our very eyes that President Muhammadu Buhari told the World Bank president, Jim Yong Kim, to put the North first in its developmental programmes. That can happen again if they keep up with the rhetoric of “North vs. South.” While we can argue that indeed, the North-East particularly needs some welfare package to level up with the rest of the country after its debilitating wars, we should also not forget that many of the resources that have been sent there in the past ended up in private pockets. Nothing has changed anywhere. El-Rufai and his cohort of politicians need to be informed that there is no “developing South” anywhere. There is only one country – Nigeria – and we have all been jointly disadvantaged by the visionless leadership.

Rugga and Ranching: The unnecessary Controversy by IkonAllah

IkonAllah

For clear understanding of the issues involved we must first delve into definitions

According to a definition from dictionary.com, Ranching is

“an establishment maintained for raising livestock under range conditions.”

Wikipedia is more in dept:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranch

ranch is an area of land, including various structures, given primarily to the practice of
ranching , the practice of raising grazing
livestock such as cattle or sheep for meat or wool. The word most often applies to livestock-raising operations in Mexico, Africa, the Western United States and Western Canada, though there are ranches in other areas. People who own or operate a ranch are called ranchers , cattlemen , or stock growers . Ranching is also a method used to raise less common livestock such as elk,
American bison or even ostrich , emu , and
alpaca .
Ranches generally consist of large areas, but may be of nearly any size. In the western United States, many ranches are a combination of privately owned land supplemented by grazing leases on land under the control of the federal
Bureau of Land Management or the United States Forest Service . If the ranch includes
arable or irrigated land, the ranch may also engage in a limited amount of farming , raising crops for feeding the animals, such as hay and feed grains.
Ranches that cater exclusively to tourists are called guest ranches or, colloquially , ” dude ranches.” Most working ranches do not cater to guests, though they may allow private hunters or
outfitters onto their property to hunt native wildlife. However, in recent years, a few struggling smaller operations have added some dude ranch features, such as horseback rides, cattle drives or guided hunting, in an attempt to bring in additional income. Ranching is part of the iconography of the ” Wild West ” as seen in
Western movies and rodeos

Further research on Fulani people on wikipedia shows that

Settled Fulani live in villages, towns and cities permanently and have given up nomadic life completely, in favor of an urban one. These processes of settlement, concentration and military conquest led to the existence of organized and long Established communities of Fulani, varying in size from small villages to towns. Today, some major Fulani towns include:
Labé , Pita , Mamou and Dalaba in Guinea, Kaedi ,
Matam and Podor in Senegal and Mauritania,
Bandiagara , Mopti , Dori , Gorom-Gorom and Djibo in Mali and Burkina Faso, on the bend of the Niger, and Birnin Kebbi, Gombe , Yola , Digil ,
Jalingo , Mayo Belwa, Mubi , Maroua ,
Ngaoundere , Girei and Garoua in the countries of Cameroon and Nigeria, in most of these communities, the Fulani are usually perceived as a ruling class .

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fula_peoplehistory and ways of fulani

How did we go from ranches to rugga which both mean the same thing in English and Fulani?

Personally i believe the Federal Government should not dabble into matters that can be handled by states and local Governments because it has enough on its plate with issues like security and defense, creating jobs for our youths through private sector partnership,and formulating policies that will promote economic growth.

The farmer herders conflict is a result of long neglect of simple responsibilities allowed to fester because politics is allowed to determine purely economic issues. Like every business venture livestock farming is not a Government responsibility but special grants can be provided to boost activities because of their economic contribution to GDP.

If Government can intervene in supporting Poultry owners, fish farming and crop production through programs like the central bank anchor borrowers scheme and other programs by former governments like the Cassava initiative by the Goodluck Jonathan and Obasanjo administration, then i see nothing wrong in cattle herders being supported like above stated examples.

What baffled me is why the federal government decided to rename ranches as rugga which is a Fulani word. Consultations and Selling the idea of ranching was ongoing and was reaching some form of acceptance from major stakeholders before we changed the name to Rugga settlement. I believe this singular act has led to the needless controversy overheating the polity with its attendant consequences. The federal Govt should return to status quo ante on ranching by allowing interested states and LGAs interested in ranching to continue to process and provide support where necessary through programs like the Anchor borrowers scheme for farmers which can be expanded to include herders.

Boko Haram: Buratai under attack for blaming soldiers culled from Punch Newspaper NG

Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, on Wednesday came under attack for blaming “inadequate commitment of troops on the front line of the insurgency war” for the resurgence of Boko Haram attacks.
Prominent groups, individuals and political parties expressed shock over the statement by Buratai who said there was inadequate commitment by soldiers involved in the war against insurgents.
Buratai had on Tuesday blamed soldiers at the frontlines for the recent setbacks in the war against Boko Haram.
He had said, “It is unfortunate, but the truth is that almost every setback the Nigerian Army has had in our operations in recent times can be traced to insufficient willingness to perform assigned tasks or simply insufficient commitment to a common national and military course by those at the frontlines.”
But groups and individuals including the Socio-Economic Right and Accountability Project, the Peoples Democratic Party, the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, the Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze, and a Second Republic politician, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, said President Muhammadu Buhari should sack him and all the service chiefs. They claimed his statement would not only demotivate the troops, it also showed that Buratai lacked the capacity to head the Nigerian Army.
CAS can’t vouch for his troops’ integrity – SERAP
SERAP and the CDHR, in separate interviews with The PUNCH called on Buhari to reconsider the collective public opinion and re-jig the security architecture by replacing the service chiefs.
The SERAP Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, while reacting to the army chief’s comment, said, “What I think should happen is that the President as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has to replace the security chiefs. This is because once a war goes on and you are not able to do what is expected of you, I think you probably need a replacement. New officers with a new set of ideas will be brought on board. This is very important.
“If the commander cannot vouch for the integrity and seriousness of his troops, then I think that commander should be allowed to go.”
His statement is grave – CDHR
Also, the CDHR National President, Malachy Ugwummadu, said, “This is a very grave and authoritative statement coming from no less a security top actor than the army chief. The Buhari administration should look no further in ascertaining the reality of affairs on the ground.
“I believe that Nigeria can no longer suffer under the weight of aggressive attacks. If the army chief is aware and has done very little or nothing to stop it, then it means that the conspiracy is not only in the frontlines but also in the hierarchy of the army leadership itself.”
Sack Buratai, other service chiefs, PDP, CUPP, Yakasai tell Buhari
Similarly, opposition parties including the Peoples Democratic Party, Zenith Labour Party and Coalition of United Political Parties on Wednesday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the service chiefs over renewed Boko Haram attacks, rising kidnapping and banditry as well as the general insecurity in some parts of the country.
The PDP Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Mr Diran Odeyemi, in an interview with one of our correspondents in Abuja said it was worrisome that after budgeting huge sum of money to tackle Boko Haram and kidnapping, insecurity was still high in the country.
He said, “The leadership of these security outfits need to be questioned…If the head of Daura community could be kidnapped, who else is safe in this country? We are not safe. The United Kingdom just gave a directive to its nationals that Nigeria is not safe for them to visit. This is very unfortunate. We call on Buhari to declare a state of emergency in security and act fast.
“The service chiefs should be sacked with immediate effect. They deserve to be sacked. He should sack all of them.”
Also, the National Chairman of the ZLP, Chief Dan Nwanyanwu, stated that the growing insecurity in some parts of the country was worrisome and alarming.
He said, “Of course, the tenure of the service chiefs has expired and the job has become monotonous for them. There are young military officers who want to prove that they can do something and they must be given the chance.”
He stated that state police should be established to improve security.
The spokesman of CUPP, Mr Imo Ugochinyere, in an interview with one of our correspondents called for the sack of the security chiefs, adding that Buhari should tell Nigerians the truth about his alleged inability to address the security challenges of the country.
He said, “You can see the Chief of Army Staff telling us that the morale of some of the troops is low… First of all, the President should sack those incompetent people who are heading the security agencies.
These people have been heading these agencies for the last three or four years. The first responsibility of any government is the security and welfare of the citizens. Let him sack them first and then declare a state of emergency. Everything is not politics. Tell the nation the truth that this war, you are not winning.”
He has lost control of his troops – ex-Director of DSS
In his view, a former Director of the Department of State Services, Mike Ejiofor, said, “If the army chief actually meant this statement, that means he has lost control of the troops. There must be something responsible. It may be that they no longer have confidence in him and this is very dangerous. Besides, this statement is capable of demoralising the fighting troops. Officers and soldiers are being killed and barracks are being attacked. There must be something fundamentally wrong.
“The President appointed the service chiefs. We can have our opinions. If the man feels they are not doing well, then it is time for a change.”
The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze, Mr. Chuks Ibegbu, said the group feared something was wrong with the war in the North-East.
He said, “The army must be in internal contradiction or tired of the war. Whatever it is, Mr President needs to investigate the challenges facing the army and the root causes.”
Buhari needs a new team – Yakasai
On his part, Yakasai urged the President to admit that his strategies for fighting the Boko Haram insurgency had failed.
Yakasai, in a telephone interview with one of our correspondents in Abuja, on Wednesday, said, “It is disheartening to hear from no less a person than the Chief of Army Staff that the army which he commands is to blame for recent losses in the battle field.
“That the head of an army that is the backbone of the fight is making such a statement is disappointing. Before President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office in 2015, the Boko Haram insurgency was our main security challenge.
“Today, four years down the line, Boko Haram is still strong despite claims to the contrary by those in government. We have no less than five other active serious security challenges confronting us, instead of reducing, our security challenges have multiplied.
“The President must admit that his strategy has failed and that he needs to return to the drawing board by first, changing his security team-perhaps the new team will come with bright new ideas to deal with the problem.”
Buratai’s statement, an attempt to blame soldiers for his failure – CSO
In the same vein, the Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy flayed Buratai for blaming his troops for the slow pace of the war against insurgency, saying he was merely attempting to shift responsibility for his failure.
The CDND Convener, Arito-Dare Atoye, said it was obvious to Nigerians that the military leadership had no strategy to the insurgency, noting that Buratai had not demonstrated quality leadership.
He stated, “Buratai’s statement is also a disservice to the young male and female military officers who have paid the supreme price simply because their families are still mourning their loss. He is not doing the right thing and the war is not progressing as expected.
“The President should do the needful and change the guard. The current military leadership has run out of ideas. Buratai cannot give to Nigeria what it needs to defeat Boko Haram. He should be allowed to retire, he shouldn’t blame the soldiers for his failures.”
Also, a retired military officer and lawyer, Johnson Oyewole, said Buratai’s statement was uncalled for, adding that it could demoralise the troops, many of whom he said, had lost their lives to insurgency.
Oyewole said, “President Buhari should ensure that sophisticated weapons are supplied to the officers and soldiers to boost their morale. Their welfare should also be looked into; the N49,000 salary being paid to private soldiers is grossly inadequate.”
Pay attention to troops’ welfare, ACF tells Army chief
However, the pan-northern socio-political organisation, the Arewa Consultative Forum, said for the fight against the Boko Haram to succeed, the welfare of troops must not be toyed with by military authorities.
Although the forum acknowledged that the statement was an honest assessment by Buratai because he knew them (the troops) better, it noted that factors such as troops’ welfare should be adequately taken care of.
This, the ACF said, would motivate the soldiers to perform better.
The National Publicity Secretary of the ACF, Alhaji Muhammad Ibrahim-Biu, told one of our correspondents that with adequate welfare coupled with professionalism and patriotism, troops’ performance on the battlefield would be enhanced.
He said, “The statement credited to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, that “apathy among young generation of soldiers has caused recent setbacks in the fight against insurgency is in my opinion an honest assessment by the Chief of Army Staff who knows the soldiers better.
“It is in realisation of this that the Army organised a transformational leadership workshop to enhance officers and troops’ professionalism and efficiency.
“However, factors like adequate equipment, troops’ welfare and logistics are necessary ingredients in addition to professionalism and patriotism which the Army should pay attention to for effective performance.” – Punch.

June 12 is at the soul of our democratic struggle; a threshold in our national life by Atiku Abubakar Gcon

. #DemocracyDay
The significance of the celebration of June 12, 1993, Presidential Election is a reminder of our history to becoming a democratic country. On this day twenty-six years ago, Nigeria voted for democracy against the jackboot notion of oppressive totalitarianism.
The collective decision by Nigerians to elect democracy on that day was not to aggrandize the political elite or to replace the military dictatorship with civilian autocracy. No! The choice of democracy was to restore power to the people.
Suffice it to state that the idea of June 12 is not merely to declare it as a Democracy Day – much as celebratory and commendable it might seem. The idea behind the event of June 12, 1993, embodies something much bigger than that.
It is not enough to declare June 12 a Democracy Day when the government of the day is disrespectful of the rule of law and wantonly disregards court orders on issues that border on fundamental human rights.
It is not enough to declare June 12 a work-free day when the ordinary people of Nigeria still don’t have the freedom to find a better life from the suffocating grip of poverty, when Nigeria is now the global headquarters of extreme poverty.
It is not enough to declare June 12 a work-free day when a disproportionate number of citizens are not sure of where their next meal will come from and when the sanctity of their lives is not guaranteed.
It is not enough to declare June 12 a work-free day when freedom of the press, and of speech, fundamentals of democracy is being assailed.
As a compatriot who stood shoulder to shoulder with the icon of the June 12 struggle, Chief MKO Abiola of blessed memory, I know first-hand that the choice of HOPE as his campaign slogan wasn’t merely a populist tokenism.
He didn’t mean to deceive Nigerians with a hope he could not deliver upon. And, today, the minimum requirement for any June 12 convert is to demand of them wherever they may be – either in government or in private lives – to deliver on the promises they made to the people.
It is therefore unacceptable that an administration which had an opportunity of 4 years to deliver the promise of change to Nigerians, not only reneged on that promise but propelled the country into a near-comatose state will lay claims to being a true friend of June 12 struggle.
To be a lover of June 12 is to believe in the common good of the people. June 12 is about the political leadership having the focus to retool the Nigerian economy.
It is about having the skills to create wealth and jobs for the teeming mass of unemployed. It is not about the inclination for shared pains; it is about shared prosperity.
As we celebrate yet another episode of the June 12 struggle, the desire for hope is more preponderant today much as it was twenty-six years ago. So, for all true lovers of democracy, let us keep the HOPE alive.

June 12: The Truth that Sets Democracy Free in Our Land by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu Jagaban

In the statement the APC leader said observing May 29 as Democracy Day delinks the country’s democratic experience since 1999 from the protracted and bitter struggle against military dictatorship from June 12, 1993, till the exit of the military in 1999.

“Without those who stoutly stood on June 12 and sacrificed life, limb, freedom, economic ruin, psychological devastation and more in the battle against tyranny, there would most certainly not have been any May 29, 1999, handover to commemorate.

“Nigerians do not take the democracy we enjoy today for granted or do anything to threaten its existence because it was not won on a peaceful and comfortable “platter of gold.

“The power of truth to set men free from the limiting chains of falsehood and limiting superstitions is one of the most poignant spiritual verities that has proven to be valid across time and space over the last two millennia.

“In the realm of politics, the most fundamental truth that man has discovered is that power can be the handmaiden of progress and accelerated development only if it flows from the will of the electorate as determined in regular, free, fair and credible elections.

“This is why, in spite of its many flaws and failings, man is yet to invent a form of government superior to democracy – the famed government of the people, by the people and for the people.

“It is thus understandable and indeed justified that Nigerians are elated that the country has recorded 20 years of unbroken democratic rule since 1999.

“Today, we commemorate the country’s emergent democracy in a way that is certainly more spiritually fulfilling and psychologically satisfying than has ever been the case since 1999.

“For, thanks to the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and the assent of the National Assembly, we are for the first time today celebrating our democracy as a nation on a historic day, June 12, which coincides with the day that the seed of today’s democratic sprouting was sown 26 years ago.

“What we had been commemorating on May 29th of every year since the democratic restoration of 1999 has been the day of the handover of power from the military regime to the elected civilian administration.

“Observing May 29 as democracy day delinks the country’s democratic experience since 1999 from the protracted and bitter struggle against military dictatorship from June 12, 1993, till the forced exit of the military in 1999.

“Without those who stoutly stood on June 12 and sacrificed life, limb, freedom, economic ruin, psychological devastation and more in the battle against tyranny, there would most certainly not have been any May 29, 1999, handover to commemorate.

“The democracy we enjoy today was not won on a peaceful and comfortable “platter of gold”.
‘’It was not gifted to Nigerians by a benevolent military regime. It is the product of the sweat, tears, blood, pain, toil and anguish of millions of Nigerians. That is why we can never afford to take it for granted or do anything to threaten its existence.

“June 12 must serve as a continual reminder to Nigerians on the imperative of pursuing the cause of justice in all spheres of our lives at all times as a necessary condition for peace, prosperity and progress.

‘’As we kick off from today the annual celebration of June 12 as Nigeria’s Democracy Day, let us renew our commitment to utilizing democracy as a vehicle for eliminating poverty in our land as well as providing prosperity and life more abundant for the teeming millions of our people.

“It was indeed his deep aversion to poverty and the avoidable suffering of the majority of our people that compelled Chief MKO Abiola to contest Nigeria’s presidency and thus his campaign slogan was “Farewell to Poverty”. The problem of poverty remains primal and fundamental in our land today.

‘’Indeed, at the root of the severe existential challenges, which confront the country today such as religious extremism, terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, cultism, ritual killing, armed, robbery, communal violence and herdsmen/farmers clashes among other is the protracted economic crisis that has worsened poverty, unemployment and inequality in Nigeria over the last four decades.

“It is indeed incumbent on us all, particularly those in positions of authority at all levels, to vigorously support President Muhammadu Buhari administration as it invests massively and on an unprecedented scale in the renewal and expansion of infrastructure as well as its various social intervention programmes aimed at uplifting the vast majority of our people out of dehumanizing poverty, political instability and insecurity.

“We must take concerted efforts to banish poverty from Nigeria. To rid Nigeria of poverty is indeed a task that must be done. As the historic restoration of June 12 to its proper place by the Buhari administration sets democracy free to soar in our land, let us rededicate ourselves to the challenge of utilizing democracy to set Nigeria free from poverty.

“God bless our fatherland”