Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbe is on record saying recently that the Federal Government will not force anybody to surrender land for grazing reserve.
That is the way it should be. Taking the ethnic lands of some people and dedicating it to cattle grazing is a policy that can never be justified. It is a policy that would have caused the biggest controversy since June 12.
The most viable solution to ending cattle grazing and the deaths that follow it is to give the cattle herdsmen funds to buy ranches. Let them buy ranches, and register those ranches in their name with Cof O like every other businessman would do.
I would like to see these herdsmen own mega ranches that no one can come and dispute over with them. If they don’t have the money for such, the Federal Government should loan or grant them the money.
My NGO Prince And Princess Charles Offokaja Foundation recently approached foreign funders that fund innovations all over the globe for a $15 million grant to buy and donate a mega ranch to the herdsmen. Unfortunately, it seems as if the funders, don’t have that kind of money – I don’t know.
Anyway, I know if we had succeeded in getting the funding, we would have been able to buy up to 20,000 hectares to donate to the herdsmen in Nigeria, and that would have gone a long way to defuse the herdsmen-farmer clashes over cattle grazing.
But I am still happy that the Federal Government has gotten Voluntary donations from some Northern states for ranching. Imagine in a country like Nigeria, you suddenly come out and go to the South, take some land and hand it over as a reserve to a group mainly from the North.
That would have been a case of ‘trouble dey sleep, yanga come wake am’.
Over To You National Assembly
What is left is for the National Assembly to throw out any grazing reserve bill it is working on under any guise. The National Assembly’s job is to make humane laws, and not make unenforceable laws that will instead expose it ridicule and overheat the polity.
The National Assembly should imitate President Buhari: He was openly for grazing reserve, but when he saw the amount of opposition to it, he asked state governors to find a solution to the issue. It is clear that with the voluntary donations from some Northern states, the problem is resolving itself peacefully.
What Is The Federal Government Waiting For In Developing The Lands Donated By Northern States?
The only thing left is for the government to now take those lands Voluntarily donated by some Northern states and assist the herdsmen in turning them into ranches.