Herdsmen/farmers clashes: More Nigerians back ranches

More Nigerians have thrown their weight behind the establishment of ranches across the country as a way of ending the continuing clashes between herdsmen and farmers.

They advocated cattle rearing across the country to be modernised as a way of ending the killings allegedly being perpetrated by the herdsmen.

A cleric and pastor of Living Word Ministries, Abuja, Okey Nwagu, who spoke with Abuja Xtra on the matter, also said that he did not believe that there was an agenda to islamise the country.

He said that the country had gone beyond one religion hijacking the others.

The cleric spoke on the sideline of an annual convention of the church which brought together professionals, businessmen, youths and unemployed persons and used to spur the people on other ways to contribute to solving many of the societal challenges.

He said: “This is a private business; it is not federal business. Individuals own these cows. Is there a modern way that we can organise this business and solve this killing problem? I believe in ranches. Those people that own these cattle should pay for them, construct them and you don’t need to go about stressing these cattle.”

According to him, the endemic corruption in the country will drastically go down if President Muhammadu Buhari succeeds in removing the eyes of Nigerian from oil.

He said since the high rate of corruption in the country was caused by oil, the only panacea remained looking away from it and empowering citizens to begin to think of other ways to contribute to economic growth.

Nwagu stated that the convention was used to teach participants how they could achieve their vision with little or no money.

According to him, the event was yet another opportunity to give the people direction as the country works to address the myriads of challenges besetting it.

He said: “Leadership is all about vision. Now, there is a problem at hand and it will take viable vision for Nigeria to come out of this mess.

“Everybody is talking about diversification now. It will take a vision for this leadership to diversify; we have other things, not just oil

“Our greatest asset is people and these people have brains. They can think out something.

“Oil has killed us. Let’s think out of this oil thing and look for something else that we can do as a nation that will really stabilise this economy and raise the standard of living

“People are hungry, many are dying. How we can come out of this is having vision. Let’s see something fresh and begin to build it and after some time, the economy will be better off.

“The government can shift the eyes of the people from oil. We should empower the people to begin to think about things that we can do outside oil. This will minimise the endemic thing we call corruption drastically

“The corruption we talk about here is caused by oil. Remove our eyes from this oil and corruption cases will just go down; people will start working with their hands and brain. Do you know it is very hard for people to steal money from private sector than in government establishments?

“We hear that there are real Fulani herdsmen and there are people that are causing this trouble (alleged killings by herdsmen). We have stayed with these people for many years and we didn’t hear this kind of thing many years ago and now these things are coming up

“There is a question that many of us are supposed to be asking, ‘what is going on? Are they really the people doing it?’

“Maybe there are people trying to attack this country wearing the image of the so-called Fulani herdsmen. These people, the real ones, are doing business, but if there is a way we can modernise this business, that will help the entire nation.

“We talked about Igbos, they don’t go about killing people. States build shops for them and then they buy these shops. Now, is there a way that we can organise this business?

“We heard that if you use animal feeds to feed these cattle, they produce better milk than walking from here to Kogi State. These cattle will be so stressed up that all the nutrients will go.

“I believe in ranches, but if we tell them don’t come here, what if Lagos says the Igbos in Lagos should go back to their states, what will happen? And if Kano says close all your shops and go back to your states, you know what will happen.

“So if there is a way it can be managed well, I tell you the truth, it will solve a lot of problems and my suggestion remains ranches.”