AKWA IBOM, Nigeria – A former Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly and former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Peter Umoh has described State ownership of ranches as the panacea for the persistent farmers and herders clash witnessed in some parts of Nigeria.
Umoh, a Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party in the State, who stated this during a chat with journalists in Uyo, argued that cattle rearing is business and the people involved in the business should be encouraged to buy land and enclose it to end nomadism.
According to him, “My analysis of the situation in the West is that today it is happening in the West no one knows when it will escalate to the East and in the South-South or the middle belt, because the Fulanis 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 Fulanis are doing to fellow Nigerians.
“The ranching system should not have been the way the President had taken it; to grab land from various states and give 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 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 this it is one of the ways out of the farmers/ herders crisis in Nigeria”
Umoh also called for close monitoring of the nation’s borders to prevent outsiders coming in to cause trouble saying that most of the Fulanis who kill, maim and destroy are not Nigerians but outsiders hired for that purpose.