Yola — The Vice President Yemi Osinbajo-led 10-man National Executive Council (NEC) ad hoc committee on herdsmen and farmers' clashes says cattle ranches remain the best option for promotion of healthy animals and herders' children through the nomadic education scheme.
During a sitting of a sub-committee headed by Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State yesterday in Yola, the Adamawa capita, the chairman said the Federal Government holds the states a responsibility to assist them in developing grazing reserves to boost animal production in the country.
Cases of cattle rustling notwithstanding, the governor held that was not enough to warrant the senseless killings in parts of the federation.Umahi said: " We condemn in totality the killings and cattle rustling. Those taking delight in these criminal activities should desist forthwith before the full wrath of the law comes against them."
He noted that as part of measures to tackle the crisis, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association had advocated for proper identification of all herdsmen and their cattle in the state to check infiltration and avoid future occurrence of the conflicts, as according to him, it had been alleged that the killer herdsmen were mainly foreigners.
The governor went on: " We noted that Adamawa has 31 grazing reserves covering 105, 646 hectares of land. Some of the gazetted ones the state government said have been encroached upon.
"We recommend that the state and federal governments to group the herdsmen into these gazetted reserves, using the anchor borrower scheme to develop them for better yield as well as make available water, grass, schools, veterinary clinics and milk factories.
Umahi feared that the shortage of land due to climate change could stir another round of crises if cattle are not ranched " We have agreed that the killings and hostilities must stop. We have set up a committee on peace, reconciliation and development of these grazing reserves," he added. He cautioned security agents against partisanship during conflicts, noting that one of their major constitutional duties was to protect all Nigerians.