- The Presidency has called on all Nigerians to support ranching system for herdsmen
- Femi Adesina said citizens are better off living with the ranches and colonies
- He urged all those against ranching to have a rethink
The Presidency on Tuesday, July 3, urged all those against ranching and colony programmes for herdsmen across Nigeria to have a rethink.
The special adviser to the president on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, said Nigerians are better off living with the ranches and colonies than dying through the persisting conflicts.
Speaking on a morning programme on AIT, Adesina answering questions on citizens attachment to ancestral lands said, it is better to be alive than to keep a land as a dead person.
Vanguard reports that Adesina also decried connotations in many quarters that the ongoing crisis between farmers and herders is religious.
Adesina said: "Hundreds have been killed in Zamfara, are they Christians? People have been killed in Birnin Gwari, are they Christians?
"What is happening is criminality, pure and simple, and it must be brought to an end. Government has a big role to play in this but the people themselves have a role to play.
“Some people are saying don’t use government money to build ranches. If truly they don’t have lands, that is fine, but remember that Kogi state offered 15,000 hectares of land for cattle colony and in the midst of that offer vicious attacks were unleashed.
"In Plateau state, where we had the recent orgy of killings, the government has offered land for ranches and I tell you that some people are interested in this thing not being resolved. You can only have ancestral attachment when you are alive. If you are talking about ancestral attachment, if you are dead, how does the attachment matter?
Adesina said the National Economic Council which recommended ranching did not just legislate it but rather made recommendations.
He said: "So, if your state genuinely does not have land for ranching, it is understandable; not every state will have land for ranches. But where you have land and you can do something, please do for peace. What will the land be used for if those who own it are dead at the end of the day?
"There are different theatres of crises in the country and you may look at each theatre with its peculiarities. In the Middle Belt, it has its own peculiarities and what is the peculiarity of that, Farmers-Herders conflict. What has the government done? It has sent in security agencies starting with the police, later troops, later different operations by the military."
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Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that the executive secretary of Nasarawa state Emergency Management Agency (NASEMA), Zachary Zamani, had said that ranching is the only option left to ending the crisis between herdsmen and farmers across Nigeria.
Zamani said if the federal government wants a lasting solution to the issue, it should adopt ranching.
He also said that the Land Use Act in Nigeria permits ranching.
Nigerian herdsmen vs Nigerian farmers - on NAIJ.com TV