Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose has advanced the course of peace in this country by his steps to introduce cattle ranching in Ekiti State. It was announced recently that the Ekiti State Government will introduce cattle ranching in Ekiti, in response to the unending killings of citizens of the state in crises over cattle grazing.
The issue of cattle grazing is one that has led many to their untimely deaths, and yet the relevant authorities are still being slow to do what is needed to be done: that is to financially empower the herdsmen to buy land, fence it and start their own cattle ranch.
Instead, the Federal Government and many members of the National Assembly wanted -until recent- to force the unfair and unpopular grazing reserve policy down our throats in this country.
The proponents of grazing reserve bill have forgotten that cattle breeding is not politics but business, and have unfairly politicised cattle breeding, because as long as only one ethnic group dominates the trade, any effort by the Federal or any state Government to secure land from any ethnicity without buying it from willing sellers will always be seen as seizing ethnic ancestral land from one ethnic group and giving it to another, and would never be accepted.
In the old days, if an ethnic group is defeated in war, they would accept that even their lands are to be giving off to the victors. But since the advent of the nation-state, the sanctity of ethnic and national lands has been established firmly and irrevocably on the foundations of law and order.
You can’t just come and take out people’s ethnic lands in a way that seems that you are promoting ethnic land grabbing. You can empower people to buy lands using soft power: that is using the amazing power of money to get others to sell it to them. But you can’t just come and seize ethnic lands given to people by their ancestors and then by legislation reserve that land for a profession dominated by another ethnic group. It will not work.
The Federal Government and its allies in the National Assembly should just drop this grazing reserve thingy and empower the herdsmen financially to buy their own land from willing sellers. No one can argue against that.
Insisting on creating some sort of commission and other desperate things you have done will only politicise the business of the herdsmen and bring division, and will never be accepted by the people you have collected the lands from.
My NGOs Efforts To Donate Mega Ranch To The Herdsmen
I wish the effort by my NGO, the Prince And Princess Charles Offokaja Foundation to materially empower the herdsmen by donating a mega ranch to them had worked. That is the best way to go. Commercial, non-politicised ranching.
President Buhari, Empower Herdsmen Financially To Own Ranches
Anyone wishing to blacken the name of President Buhari by making his government not to financially empower the herdsmen to own their own commercial (not political) ranches, should please stop that. One of the best things President Buhari can do for his people is to empower them financially to own (non-politicised) ranches.
I ask all state governments in Nigeria to follow the lead of the Ekiti State Government on this issue because ranching beats grazing reserve any time. I ask the Federal Government to introduce a YouWin programme for cattle ranching to solve this solvable issue.