The Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, has commended Governor Bello Matawalle’s efforts in restoring peace and normalcy in Zamfara State.
DAILY NIGERIAN reports that one of Mr Matawalle’s efforts in restoring peace in the state included the introduction of RUGGA settlement for repentant bandits and Fulani herders in the state.
The project is sitting on 2,500 hectres of land comprising grazing areas, residences, school, hospital, veterinary clinic, earth dams, water canals, police post, road network, sporting facilities and worshipping sites.
Available records reveal that the project is nearing completion as construction work has reached 70%.
The governor’s Special Adviser on Media and Communications, Zailani Bappa, in a statement on Tuesday, quoted Mr Buratai as making the commendation during an official Army function in the state.
According to the statement, Mr Buratai, who was conducted round the RUGGA site, commended the initiative, saying that Governor Matawalle is truly a champion of peace.
“I am quite impressed with work being done so far and the concept itself is unique in that this is the first of its type that has been quite comprehensive.
“You have the farmers, you have the facilities and you have seen the road network, the hospital, school and veterinary as well as the orchard.
“It is one of its kind and if this is replicated in the 36 states of the federation, it will bring the conflict that have been on between farmers and herders to an end.
“The other governors should take it as a challenge because security is quite fundamental,” Mr Buratai said.
The Army chief, therefore, urged the citizens to support the governor’s efforts in bringing an end to menace of banditry, kidnapping and other forms of criminality in the state.
According to him, Nigerian Army would always cooperate with the governor in order to achieve lasting peace in the state.
During a courtesy visit to the Emir of Maradun, Mohammed Tambari, Mr Buratai told the emir they had a proud son in Governor Matawalle.
He, therefore, assured the emir of the Army’s commitment to dealing with the problem of banditry in the state.
The emir, in his remarks, expressed his appreciation over the presence of the army in the state, promising that his subjects would continue supporting security agencies as well as the state government in their quest towards achieving lasting peace in the state.
On his part, Matawalle said he was impressed with progress of work at the settlement project and urged the contractor to put in more effort in order to complete the project in accordance with specification and time.
He said that the intention behind the project was to see how to bring an end to the issue of security and bring farmers and herders together as brothers.
According to him, the settlement is not just for Fulani alone but also for the farmers because we want to unite all of them and so we want to bring them here as soon as possible.
“You are all aware that this one of its kind in the whole of Nigeria and we are not just doing this project in Maradun alone, we are doing same in the three senatorial zone of the state.
“We have three Ruga, one in Maradun, one in Gidan Jaja and one in Sardau area in Maru Local Government Area.
“I am calling on the contractor to hasten the work so that he can mobilise to another place but I assure the people of Zamfara state that we are doing these projects not just for one entity but for all of us.
“A lot of investment opportunities will come up in this Ruga and we have started getting some people and companies who are interested in investing here,” he said.