The Global Peace and Life Rescue Initiative (GOPRI) has revealed that Nigeria would generate N1.2 trillion annually through the establishment of cattle colonies.
The group said that the initiative was part of measures to end the protracted wave of clashes mainly between herders and farmers.The organisation said in Abuja that the initiative would also create an estimated 322,000 direct new jobs for Nigerians.
Emeka Ugwanyi, the director press and public affairs of GOPRI, said in an email statement to The Trent, that cattle colony is the best option in addressing the herders and farmers crises in the country. The development is in corroboration of Federal Government’s plan to establish cattle colonies as a way of checking the incessant herdsmen/farmers clashes in recent times.
Recently, Chief Audu Ogbeh, minister of agriculture, dropped a hint in that direction, noting that 16 states had indicated interest in the scheme and were prepared to volunteer parcels of land for that purpose. Meanwhile, the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), has said that the Federal Government’s proposed establishment of cattle colonies across the country will not bring lasting solution to herdsmen/farmers clashes.
Emeka Anosike, the chairman of CDHR, a civil society organisation (CSO) based in Ebonyi, said this in an interview with the journalist in Abakaliki on Tuesday, February 2, 2018, herdsmen According to him, the measure will rather heighten tension in the long run. He said herders that would settle in these colonies would eventually increase in population over time and would be sought for more lands to occupy which would likely result in more brutal clashes.
“The Federal Government’s decision to establish cattle colonies in the 36 states of the federation will not end killings and sporadic attacks on innocent and defenseless citizens of Nigeria. “What is required is comprehensive action plan acceptable by every citizen that will permanently solve the crisis and end the mindless slaughter of innocent Nigerians witnessed across the federation.
“We do not support the establishment of cattle colonies because it will breed more crises in the long run and deny owners of the lands the right of ownership.
“Our disagreement is predicated on the fact that the lands which will be donated for the colonies are arable lands belonging to the people which will deny them perpetual access to their lands,’’ Anosike said.
Anosike said cattle owners should be able to acquire lands for ranching which was the practice in other civilised climes. “Nigerian communities are agrarian in nature and need lands for their agricultural activities, hence confiscating the scarce agricultural lands will impede farming activities in our rural communities.
“Again, possible encroachment by either the herdsmen into the lands not allocated to them or the farmers into the colonies may lead to bloody clashes between farmers and herdsmen in future,’’ he added.
The rights activist noted that Nigeria landmass covers a total of 923,768 square kilometre, saying the proposed cattle colony would cede a chunk part of the nation’s land mass to herdsmen.