Makurdi — A former Chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) in Benue State, Donathus Zuanah, has advocated ranching in place of cattle colonies.
He condemned critics of cattle ranching in the country, describing them as having evil intention, inconsiderate and unreasonable to humanity.
Zuanah, who spoke in an interview with The Guardian, said cattle colonies would create other un-intended cultural, social and chieftaincy issues.
He said: "If colonies must be established, they must only be in the far northern states, which have land and are comfortable with having colonies."
He urged the Federal Government to provide incentives as special low interest loan scheme for herdsmen to go into ranching in their areas.
He solicited partnership to establish mega ranches, rather than the proposed colonies in some states that have support it.
He said: "To many Nigerians, cattle colony is dead on arrival solution. The concept and its intended operation connote an idea to seize or takeover land and appropriate it to herdsmen. Some of them have even been described to be non-Nigerians.
"The Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore should know that culture is dynamic. They must therefore, undergo change to suit internal, external and environmental factors. The best way out is for them to accept the concept of ranching, which ultimately would benefit them the more."
Zuanah stressed that proponents of grazing routes should also know that such practice is no longer feasible in today's Nigeria, due to population explosion, scarce land and climate change.
"The so-called routes are also sources of conflict between farmers/herdsmen. The idea of cattle roaming the streets is obsolete and bound to create conflicts," he said.
On the outcome of the N100 billion allegedly released in 2014 to build ranches, Zuanah urged the National Assembly to investigate to ascertain the truth.
He condemned the activities of the herdsmen whose mode of operation is to commit "genocide, arson, rape and murder as have been seen in Benue, Taraba, kaduna, Adamawa, Kwara and Ondo states.
He warned: "Herdsmen's attacks have become a huge security emergency and must be so treated.
"The Federal Government knows that it has huge security problem on its hands and must act decisively by proscribing and declaring Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore a terrorist organisation."
In a related development, the Principal Partner of Kayode Ajulo and Co. Castle of law, Dr. Kayode Ajulo, has faulted President Muhammadu Buhari's response to the attacks in Benue State.
He said his position has left many Nigerians disillusioned.
"Leadership involves a measure of deliberation, prudence and pragmatism.
He has not laid out a single policy proposal on any of the major national issues that concern the millions of people who voted for him.
"He has continued to bask in the chanting of a thinning crowd of diehard fans. The time for throwing blames and political face-saving has long past.
"With all the security agencies reporting to the president, why has he not made a presidential declaration against the herdsmen?" he asked.
He blamed the security agencies for abdicating their constitutional responsibilities of protecting the lives and property of the people.