Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, has appealed to Nigerians to stop reading ethnic sentiment into the killings by suspected herdsmen in the country, saying herdsmen must embrace cattle ranching with a view to ending their conflict with farmers.
Aregbesola spoke at Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti on Thursday while interacting with the management and students of the institution.
He also lauded ABUAD’s founder, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), for establishing the university, saying the institution had ushered in a paradigm shift in the nation’s tertiary education.
Aregbesola said, “I am not trying to justify the killings or trying to say that the Fulani should dominate Nigeria, but what I am saying is that Nigeria has failed to be technologically and innovatively advanced due to bad leadership.
“As we speak now, there are no green grasses in any part of Europe and they produce cattle Africa cannot even boast of. They prepare their pasture, foliage and fodders during the six months of rainy season and keep them to feed their cattle during the dry season.
“The cattle are restricted within the ranches and I believe that if some nations could be thinking like this, Nigeria has no reason not to toe the same line. We must turn this situation into huge economic opportunities for our people.
“For Nigeria to get out of the herdsmen killings, we must adopt a modern system of cattle rearing and we must stop reading ethnic sentiment into it.”
Meanwhile, the Commissioner for Justice in Osun State, Dr. Ajibola Ajibola, has called on the Federal Government to take the lead by establishing ranches in the states in order to address the killings and destruction of farms by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
Ajibola made this call at the Federal High Court, Osogbo, on Friday during the special valedictory court session in honour of late Justice Solomon Ojutalayo, who died at 89 on November 17, 2017.
He said it was obvious that some criminals had infiltrated genuine herdsmen, while tasking security agents to fish out the criminals among them and make them face justice.
“The Federal Government should take the lead in the establishment of ranches while state governments and the private sector should key into modernising cattle rearing,” he added.