Farmers/herders crisis: Akwa Ibom ex-lawmaker advocates state ownership of ranch

A former House of Representatives member for Oron/Okobo/Urue-Offiong-Oruko/Udung Uko/Mbo state constituency under the Peoples Democratic Party in Akwa Ibom state, Peter Umoh, has called on the President Mohammadu Buhari to encourage state ownership of ranch in the country.
He said ownership of ranch by state governments would effectively tackle the seemingly recurring clashes between farmers and herders than the  Buhari’s system of land grabbing from the various states for the purpose of ranching.

Umoh, a one time speaker of the state house of Assembly stated these on Sunday while fielding questions from newsmen in Uyo, the state capital against the backdrop of the the farmers/herders crisis in some parts of the country.
The former member of the constituent Assembly of 1988/89 argued that cattle rearing is business and as a business people should be encouraged to buy land and enclosed it to stop normadism.

“My analysis of the situation in the West is that today it is happening in the West no one knows when it will explode in the East and in the South South or middle belt, because the fulanis are everywhere.
“They may not be many but they have their own agenda, So, it’s not a South West matter, it should be every Nigerian’s matter.My appeal is that Mr President should by action show that he is not as perceived by so many Nigerians that he is closing his eyes against what the fulanis are doing to other fellow Nigerians.

“The ranching system should not have been the way the President had taken it; to grab land from various states and given it to them, no, because cattle rearing is business. Let the people who want to do the business buy land and then enclose it so that this normadism will stop.

“That is what the President should have done and I plead with him to do it, not just trying to impose it on each state by grabbing their lands.
“The President can encourage each state of the federation to establish it own ranch. Assuming  the government of Akwa Ibom State uses the money from the federation account to establish her own ranch, employs her people. Think of this it is one of the ways out of the farmers/ herders crisis in Nigeria,” Umoh said.

The PDP stalwart called for close monitoring of the nation’s borders to prevent outsiders coming in to cause trouble.
He said most of the fulanis who kill, maim and destroy were not Nigerians but outsiders hired for that purpose, adding that the fact that they are not Nigerians explains their heartlessness.

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