A former Senior Special Assistant to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, Jonathan Asake, has described the new move to create Ruga settlements in some parts of the country as an attempt to ‘Fulanise’ the country.
He said this during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Friday.
Asake, who was a member of the seventh House of Representatives between 2011 and 2015, said the term ‘Ruga’ was a Fulani word and it was thus hypocritical of anyone to say when it is implemented across the nation, it would not be exclusive to Fulani.
Asake, who is from southern Kaduna, said in 1987, the then government of Kaduna State approved Ruga settlements in the old Kachia Local Government Area which now comprises Zangon Kataf, Chikun, Kajuru, and Kachia Local Government Areas.
He, however, said over time, the Fulani began to expand these settlements and today, some of them are being converted to Emirates.
Asake, who is a leader of the Middle Belt Forum, said, “I’m from Zangon Kataf Local Government Area in Kaduna State. We have what was established in 1987 as the Kachia grazing reserve in the then old Kachia LG which comprises Zangon Kataf, Chikun and Kajuru and Kachia Local Government Areas of today.
“That grazing reserve has been changed to Laduga. Laduga is actually a Fulani word and no indigene is there. The land has been taken over from the indigenes. And that place is now a big town, with big hospitals and roads.
“In fact, the last voter registration exercise there, two registration machines were put there. Today, they have a district head and they are asking for an emirate. It is just a model of what will happen tomorrow in this country when these settlements are established. You will have state constituencies in the state assembly established all over the country strictly for Fulani.”
Asake said the Ruga initiative must be rejected because the government’s ultimate plan is to take over ancestral land from indigenous owners and give it to a particular people.
He hailed socio-cultural groups in the South, especially Afenifere and Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo for rejecting the idea.