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The Federal Government is to establish cattle colonies to mitigate the frequent clashes between farmers and herdsmen nationwide.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, disclosed this yesterday at a security meeting convoked by the Minister of Interior, Lt Gen. Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau (rtd). It had in attendance the governors of Nasarawa, Niger, Taraba, Kaduna and Benue states.

Also at the parley were the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, commissioners of police, Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Lawal Daura, and the Commandant General (CG) of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Abdullahi Gana.

The minister noted that the strategy would boost the confidence of farmers to work in their farms without an iota of fear, adding that government had been up and doing in finding a lasting solution to the lingering crisis.

Ogbeh said the move was to end the culture of herdsmen moving about with their cattle. His words: “We are planning a programme called cattle colonies, not ranches, where at least 5,000 hectares of land would be made available, adequate water and pasture would also be made available. We also want to stop cattle rearers from roaming around. The culture of cattle moving about will be stopped as they will be provided with water and adequate security by the rangers, as well as adequate pasture milk collection even security for rustlers to enable them live a normal life. This has been done elsewhere in India, Ethopia and even Brazil.”

However, the Centrum Initiative for Development and Fundamental Rights Advocacy (CEDRA) has sought the swift intervention of the National Assembly.

In a press statement by its chairman, Dr. John Danfulani, the organisation said the appeal has become expedient, as the country sits on the precipice.

It frowned at the poor handling of the issue at hand, alleging that the current administration adopts double standard to issues.

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