A one-time member of the House of Representatives for Oron/Okobo/Urue-Offiong-Oruko/Udung Uko/Mbo state constituency under the people’s Democratic party in Akwa Ibom State, Peter Umoh, has suggested that state ownership of cattle ranch was panacea to the incessant clashes between farmers and herders in the country.
He made this statement while fielding questions from newsmen in Uyo yesterday, stressing that President Buhari, should encourage state ownership of ranches in the country.
According to him, the seeming land grabbing in various states for the purpose of ranching would rather aggravate the clashes instead of solving it.
The one-time Speaker of the Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly and former member of the constituent Assembly of 1988/89, argued that cattle rearing is business as such those engaged in same should be encouraged to buy lands and fence it to stop nomadism.
“My analysis of the situation 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 Fulani’s 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 Fulani’s are doing to fellow Nigerians.
“The ranching system should not have been the way the President had taken it; to grab lands 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 nomadism 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 its 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 it, it is one of the ways out of the farmers/ herder’s crisis in Nigeria” Umoh said
The People’s Democratic Party stalwart called for close monitoring of the nation’s borders to prevent outsiders coming in to cause trouble.
He alleged that, most of the Fulani’s who kill, maim and destroy are not Nigerians but outsiders hired for that purpose, adding that the fact that they are not Nigerians explains their heartlessness.