In a determined bid to solve the perennial clashes between farmers and herdsmen in the various parts of the country, the Buhari administration had embarked on a vigorous campaign for the establishment of ranches in the country.
Over a year ago, the Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Chief Audu Ogbe announced that 11 state governments and the federal capital territory administration had made available 55 hectares of land for the establishment of ranches.
He also announced that the federal government had concluded plans to engage the services of 3,000 young men and women to guard the proposed ranches. But for reasons best known to the federal government the plan to set up the ranches was jettisoned to the detriment of peace and stability of the nation.
But having lost thousands of people and destruction of properties worth billions of Naira in avoidable clashes between farmers and herdsmen in several parts of the country the federal government has now decided to establish the ranches. While this belated decision is a welcome development Chief Audu Ogbe should be restrained from causing confusion by giving the misleading impression that the federal government intends to allow owners of cattle to colonise the states that have donated land for the establishment of ranches.
In other words, Chief Ogbe should not be allowed to sabotage the establishment of the ranches with his pet project of “Cattle Colonies “. Since a ranch is a large area of land acquired for raising grazing livestock such as cattle or sheep for the production of meat the proposed ranches should not be called “cattle colonies.”