Ruga: How clas mi­gra­tions thre

Daily Trust - - STAR FEATURE -

are skilled in con­struct­ing the camps, have re­lo­cated to ur­ban cen­tres, and there are fears that such skills may van­ish soon, as the builders be­come deskilled as soon as they sink into the ur­ban set­ting. Many as­pects of the Fu­lani her­itage have evap­o­rated or are slowly van­ish­ing, and the camp it­self is one of those items that will transit to some­thing else, so ar­gues Dr. Tukur Baba of the Depart­ment of So­ci­ol­ogy, Us­man Dan Fo­dio Univer­sity, Sokoto “With in­creas­ing ed­u­ca­tion, and ur­ban­i­sa­tion, ev­ery­body is be­gin­ning to re­alise that some prac­tices com­mon among the Fu­lani are harm­ful. These in­clude sharo,the use of body marks as well as fe­male gen­i­tal mu­ti­la­tion.”

Jibrin Shuaibu, Sec­re­tary, MACBAN in Wamba lo­cal gov­ern­ment of the state, has a dif­fer­ent opin­ion on the state of the camps “The num­bers are in­creas­ing in­stead of de­creas­ing. In the past you won’t get up to 12,000 no­mads in Wamba, but now they num­ber 500,000. This rep­re­sents an in­crease in the camps,and is a fall­out of crises. No­mads from other places are troop­ing to Wamba to set­tle. The crises in south­ern Kaduna and Benue, for in­stance, have pushed many of them here.” Ibrahim Has­san, Ex­ten­sion Of­fi­cer, Na­tional Com­mis­sion for No­madic Ed­u­ca­tion (NCNE) Gwag­wal­ada, adds that he no­ticed a de­cline in the num­ber of the camps in the coun­try,at the time of the Zan­gon Kataf crises of 1992.

Ya­haya Mo­gauri, Ex­ten­sion Of­fi­cer with the NCNE in Kogi State, com­ments on the fall in num­ber of camps in the state “99% of the no­mads I met when I be­gan work here in 1996 have left to other states,or to neigh­bour­ing coun­tries, such as Togo, Ghana and Burk­ina Faso. This rapid mi­gra­tion is on ac­count of eth­nic prob­lems,kid­nap­ping, cat­tle rustling, cli­mate change, and ha­rass­ment by se­cu­rity agents.”

He adds that the places where those camps used to ex­ist,are just empty swathes of land to­day, and says that the 99% he re­ferred to ear­lier, is made up of ‘3,000 to 5,000 no­mads, and rep­re­sents at least 200 camps which have since left the state.’ Ibrahim Abubakar Jalido, Chair­man care­taker com­mit­tee MACBAN, Kogi State, also con­firms that many camps have va­cated the state for other coun­tries in re­cent times.

‘They call it Walbe’ But how do the no­mads re­fer to their dwelling? The Fu­lani don’t use the word ‘Ruga’ which is a Hausa word. Rather, they ut­ter ‘Walbe.’ But the name changes among the Fu­lani, ow­ing to nu­mer­ous di­alec­ti­cal dif­fer­ences. Dr. Baba, who is an ex­pert on the So­ci­ol­ogy of Pas­toral So­ci­ety’s, says “there are a va­ri­ety of Ful­fulde words

Rustling, vi­o­lence, kid­nap­ping a the camp into a tight cor­ner, colla

Bawa: ‘The whole world is chang­ing.’

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