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We’ve not done enough for herdsmen – Ogbeh (Must Read) 

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MINISTER of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh says the federal government has not done well enough for herdsmen, saying that was one of the reasons the reason for farmers/herdsmen crisis currently rocking the country. The minister said this yesterday during a stakeholders meeting and press conference convened by the Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen Abdulrahaman Dambazau (rtd), at the Ministry of Interior in Abuja. According to Ogbeh, “Both farmers and herdsmen belong to my constituency. We are saddened by the tragedy that has taken place. It is becoming clear that there are criminals who are bent on causing trouble, those who have taken crisis as a way of life. They are bent on making life extremely difficult for all of us. “On the issue of cattle, we have to start immediately. 16 states have given us land to work on. The programme is not going to be cheap. Mr President has personally informed me that if we seek help from him he will give it to us over and above the budget we have, and when that budget is released I plead with all of you to come on board to work hard to achieve results. “We are talking of cattle colonies not ranches so to speak, where we will provide water, grass, training for herdsmen, cattle breeding and insemination. “We have to deal with an urgent problem, cattle rearing and the conflicts between farmers and herdsmen, and actually bring it to a halt. I know that some

people argue that the culture of open grazing is our culture, but when a culture begins to develop dangerous trends leading to warfare between people and bloody clashes and death that culture is due for re-examination; if it is harmful we reform it. “Nigerians are getting extremely uncomfortable with these kilalings and we may make political statements and issue palliatives and ask the police and army to go after killers. Let us do our own duty by eliminating the conflict by creating cattle colonies.” “We intend to unfold agenda to take care of this recurring crisis, ministry of Agriculture in conjunction with the Interior, will be establishing Agro-Rangers to carry out the duty of securing and protecting agricultural investments wherever they exist” he said. Speaking further, the minister said; “we do not want the farmers to lose his crops, neither do we want herders to lose their cattle. We have not done much for the herdsmen towards the issue of livestock development in the country”. “Countries within the European Union pay 6 Euros per day as subsidy to herdsmen, so as to promote livestock development. There have been various concerns as to what business government has with setting up ranches, it is equally important government assist, as this will go a long way in averting such crisis as we are facing now” Audu said. “Cattle colonies are to be established, around five thousand hectares of land where water, adequate security, pasture, waste collection, education for the children and health care facilities are to be provided, so as to prevent herders from roaming”. Audu further stressed that, “this is not an avenue for the media to stir or arouse ethnic dissatisfaction, some editorial articles had given ethnic colouration to the crisis, the insinuation that the crisis has tribal origin should be discarded and not to be promoted by the media. Nobody benefits from violence again. I assure that government will do all within its capacity to bring the situation under control”. Also present at the meeting were governors of Taraba, Benue, Kaduna, Nassarawa and Adamawa States, including Commissioners of Police of some affected states.

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