The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has rejected the Federal Government’s plan to spend N179bn in building 94 ranches in 10 states of Nigeria.
The Nigerian government had on Tuesday agreed to set up cattle ranches in Adamawa, Benue, Ebonyi, Edo, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Oyo, Plateau, Taraba and Zamfara States.
The agreement was reached on Tuesday in Abuja to put an end to the clashes between farmers and herdsmen across the country.
In reaction, the president of the Anambra state chapter of Ohanaeze, Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene, in an interview with Tribune, said the establishment of the ranches was against the laws of the land.
Okeke-Ogene said the establishment of ranches policy would not stop incessant clashes between herdsmen and farmers in the country.
He explained that the policy would in future lead to the transfer of ownership of such lands to cattle herders, surrendering sovereignty to the exclusive control of herdsmen.
According to him “Rearing of cattle remains a private venture and not a federal or state government enterprise. Such private venture does not fall within the purview of ‘overriding public interest’ as envisaged by the Land Use Act of 2004, section 28.
“The implementation of this policy is not only unlawful but will also lead to several agitations by other private investors for allocation of lands, leading to the total breakdown of law and order.
“Any attempt to implement the policy will amount to the encroachment of the people’s right to exist and would be vehemently rejected by the Igbo extraction. ”
He called on South-East states, state assemblies in the region and other concerned institutions to also reject the Federal Government’s planned establishment of ranches.
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