By Clifford Ndujihe
SECOND Republic politician and President of the Pan-Ndigbo Forum, Chief Guy Ikokwu, has decried the Federal Government’s response to the murderous activities of some herdsmen across the country, which he described as ”acts of terrorism and armed conflict.”
Ikokwu, who was reacting to the Federal Government’s comment that it had not done enough for herdsmen over the years and plans to establish cattle colonies instead of ranches, said ”for the Federal Government to allow cattle herdsmen with sophisticated weapons, unrestrained access to farmlands, settlements, playgrounds, educational and other national facilities is a clandestine encouragement of unbridled acts of terrorism.
Noting that it is one of the fundamental principles of governance in any nation and under the Nigerian constitution that the lives and properties of citizens must be protected by the government, he lamented that ”the death toll in various states in the northern and southern part of Nigeria are colossal and horrendous, running into thousands of lives lost, including traditional rulers, men, women and children and callous destruction of buildings and properties, agricultural crops and total incivility for the rights of other people. They are acts of terrorism and armed conflict.”
Ikokwu made a case for ranching as the way out. He President Muhammadu Buhari, who is into cattle rearing to lead the move by establishing a ranch.
He said: ”In the developed countries of Europe, the United States and Asia cattle and other animals are not allowed to roam indiscriminately. They are usually confined to ranches where they are properly fed, nourished, and milked for quality commercial dairy purposes. They are protected from unscrupulous rustlers and cattle and animal thieves. These are economic matters such as the economic aspects of orderly economic and trading activities which are confined to markets, stores, shops, exhibitions and such places with respect to other activities in the locality.
”It is high time we Nigerians have to respect ourselves and be our brother’s keeper. The present unbridled killings on the rampage are not only disgusting but a prelude to very bad scenarios of worse things that can happen in our country.
”Therefore the Federal Government must live up to their responsibilities. The Federal Government must devolve powers in a restructured manner to the federating units of Nigeria to enable them meet up with the challenges of protecting innocent lives and properties and also rising to the optimal
challenges of rearing quality cattle and other animals in ranches which are better suited for the economic benefits of their owners and promoters as can be seen in any modern industry of this age.
of this age. The days of arrant primitivism and undue coercion and vengeance in the name of freedom of movement are certainly gone and must be curbed!
”The Head of State President Gen. Muhammadu Buhari for whom we have great respect, being a rearer of thousands of cattle must lead by example in developing an advanced ranch and dairy farm for others to follow his economic example as was done by a former Head of State Gen. Olusegun
Obasanjo at his billion naira poultry, turkey, etc., farm at Ota in Ogun State.”