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MODERN RUGGA PROJECTS AS MATAWALLE'S PANACEA TO PEACE CHALLENGES IN ZAMFARA STATE


Governor Bello Mohammed (Matawallen Maradun) inherited a near total break of law and order in Zamfara state last year. Banditry and kidnappings, rape and robbery were vices attacking the fabrics of the society in the state in an alarming proportion. A very known and common problem of hearder/ farmer clashes grew into a new dimension of cattle rustling and later bigger criminality of murder, kidnappings and rape. That was the scenario he inherited from the previous administration of Governor Abdulazeez Yari.

However, with a lot of wisdom, comportment, determination, commitment, resilience and honesty of purpose, God Almighty supported the young administration of Governor Bello Mohammed to circumvent all obstacles and bring about peace in the state within the first 100 days of the administration. In the last eight months, people have been going about their normal businesses as all markets have re-opened, all roads are now safe to ply and all farmers have gone back to their farms. This was achieved through a well articulated and honest peace initiative hinged on "sulhu", a peace accord predicated upon mutual agreement to give and take as well as forgive. 

To maintain the peace achieved and to promote harmony amongst the populace, Governor Matawalle decided to find a way of settling those-bandits who accepted the peace accord which was the bedrock of the present achievement of enthroning peace amongst the people. He initiated the establishment of Rural Grazing Areas (RUGA), one in each of the three Senatorial zones of the state. These are not ordinary RUGA known to many, but modern settlements with all modern facilities to support a modern way of cattle rearing and diary products development and production. The first of the three is under construction and is nearing completion. It is situated a few kilometres away from the historical town of Maradun.

Governor Matawalle yesterday, took the visiting Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai to the site. It was a wonderful journey into a new world of excellence for rearers in the state, one of its kind in the whole of West Africa. It is a settlement being erected on a land mass of nearly 2,500 hecters with complete network of roads. It is housing a large but segmented grazing areas where all seasonal and nutritious grasses will be planted for all year round grazing. It is equipped with water systems supported by overhead tanks and underground reservoir that can store 2 million and 21 million liters of water respectively. The site is surrounded by water canals and earth dams.

In order to make the settlement perfect for living, it has 57 prototype houses for the inhabitants who want to settle there to copy while a school is provided for them, a hospital, a veterinary clinic, a police outpost, a mini stadium for recreation as well as worshipping places.

Governor Matawalle said the project will soon be completed and it will serve as a genuine indication of his administration's commitment to the fulfilment of his promise to settle down all repentant bandits and attract those who are into modern animal fattening and diary production business. 

This is just one of the many positive initiatives of fostering peace in post violence Zamfara State by Governor Bello Mohammed. 

Bappa writes from Gusau.

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