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8 Jan 2018

Benue massacre: Nigerian Government reveals new plan to stop killings

The Federal Government of Nigeria has concluded plans to establish “cattle colonies” across the country in its quest for a lasting solution to the incessant clashes between farmers and herdsmen.
The project is expected to start immediately, according to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbe.

Ogbeh made the declaration on Monday at a retreat for special advisers and directors of the ministry in Abuja, adding that 16 states had indicated interest and had offered up to five hectares of land each for the project.

He said, “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.”

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