Dajin Rugu gradually becoming bandits’s den
Rugu forest, home for wild animals, potential tourist site turns bandits’s den in Katsina
Dajin Rugu is a thick forest that stretches from Birnin Gwari in Kaduna State, through parts of Katsina State and ending in Zamfara State.
Twenty years ago, the famous Dajin Rugu was home to wild animals such as lions, elephants, hyenas, gorillas and zebras, among other wild animals. The forest was also famous for its rivers, dams and rocks which make the forest a beautiful tourist site.
However, a recent visit to Rugu forest by our reporter shows that this famous tourist attraction is diminishing, due to neglect by the government. There are no access roads to the forest, not to talk of the roads leading to tourist attraction sites within the forest.
The only road leading to Rugu forest from Tambari village is also dilapidated, causing major difficulties to motorists and visitors into the forest.
It was observed that aside from being a haven for wild animals, Dajin Rugu has turned into a camp for Fulani cattle herders, thieves and armed robbers. Even the Fulani, Daily Trust Saturday observed, are currently migrating from Rugu with their herds because of lack of water and grass for the animals.
“During the dry season, it is difficult to find food and water for our cows, or for us to drink and cook our food,” said Malam Adamu Dantsoho, a herdsman who was born in the forest.
Dantsoho told Daily Trust Saturday that, “I was born in the forest and I am still living there with my family and animals. But I have resolved to migrate from the forest to Tiga Area in Kano State, because I learnt there is water and grass over there.
Daily Trust Saturday gathered that the only surviving dam in Rugu as of now is Kirya dam. On a daily basis, about 3,000 animals go to quench their thirst at the dam. Adamu Dantsoho said, “As they drink, we also drink too. I mean we drink from the same pond with our animals including dogs, snakes and monkeys.”
Like Yankari and Falgore Game Reserves in Bauchi and Kano states, respectively, Dajin Rugu is a potential tourist site, which, if utilized, can attract tourists, not only from within Nigeria, but from all over the world.
The forest is blessed with dams and rocks as well. Kurgyel, Mai-Magurzai, Kangurtsa, Yi-Naka, Tsamre Kirya and Zobe, were among the popular rivers and dams in Rugu forest, while Kauni, Rugu and Dagwarwa are the famous rocks that beautify Dajin Rugu. This is in addition to various hills and smaller rocks, situated at different locations within the forest.