Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State said the controversial Rural Grazing Area (RUGA) is the creation of the colonial masters and not a Fulani, Hausa or Arabic word.
Masar made this disclosure on Saturday September 21 while speaking with The Nation on the progress made so far with negotiating with bandits terrorising the state.
He said the first generation of Nigerian leaders and the colonial masters created RUGA because they knew roaming cattle wasn’t going to last.
He said: “The first generation of Nigerian leaders, together with the colonialists created what we now call RUGA. RUGA is not a Fulani word, it is not a Hausa word, it is not an Arabic word, and it’s the English abbreviation for Rural Grazing Area.
“So they had foresight, they knew that this roaming about by cattle would not last so they created these rural grazing areas and brought Fulani, provided windmill farms and dams for water. All over the places, if you go to our area you’ll see the remnant of all these.
“For us in Katsina, they created the dairy, and they were planting grass to feed cows even 40-50 years ago because they knew.
“But subsequently after the discovery of oil, our leaders abandoned all these initiatives.
“Then heavy encroachment due to population surge. Now, we have climate change, which is also adding its own weight”.