I have just listened to a video where an official of the Benue State Government is lamenting the plans of the Federal Government to create settlements for Herdsmen and Cattle owners for the business of cattle rearing.
This plan of the FG is despite the Anti-Grazing and Ranching Laws of the State and also a usurping of the powers and privileges of the State Governors under the Land Use Act which confers the Administration of land matters to State Governors!
Last time I checked, Cattle Rearing, Breeding, Ranching, Herding etc is a PRIVATE BUSINESS. I fail to understand why the FG must be so bent on direct interventions on matters concerning Cattle owners. Is this what they do for Farmers and Traders too? Does the FG for instance go to Zamfara, forcefully takes over lands and hand over to a set of farmers in the name of farm reserves?
Is it even responsible of the FG to attempt such action in a state already as volatile as Benue with long history of frictions with the herdsmen and with perpetual grounds for more future frictions?
Why can’t the Herdsmen privately approach land owners for space to build RANCHES for their cattles, sign all necessary MoUs with such land owners and peacefully go about their business of rearing cattles?
Why must the Herdsmen insist on a very antiquated system of pastoral and nomadic herding system for their cattles on someone else’s ancestral land especially when it is detrimental to his own business of survival which is farming?
The Herdsmen and Pastoralists make demands as though the entire lands of the earth are an inheritance for them alone and the FG encourages this in a way that makes it easy to conclude that perhaps there are sinister and selfish plots in the mix!
Surely, there are alternatives and the FG has a duty to look into those!