By Sunday Agbo, Abakaliki
The National Publicity Secretary of the Igbo apex socio-cutural organization Ohaneze Ndigbo, Prince Uche Achi-Okpaga, yesterday kicked against the federal government’s agreement to Miyetti and Buhari‘s “ National Livestock Transformation Plan”, especially for Ebonyi.
Okpaga, who was reacting to the recent outcome of the federal executive council, where it was agreed under the plan that land was going to be “donated” to Fulani herdsmen to have their colonies and places of worship in every part of the land.
According to him, the inclusion of Ebonyi state in the plan was wrong since there was no person in Ebonyi state who owes a cow cattle.
“The intention may be right, but the implementation is very poor. The execution is wrong because there is no Ebonyi man that has a cattle or a cow. It is not our line of business or trade.
“So, are you opening a ranching in Ebonyi for who? Is it for Ebonyians or for non- Nigerians or for who? The siting is very wrong. There should go and do ranching in the north where northerners have their cattle and are interested in the business.
“You do not use government money to develop business for individuals. It is merely a commercial venture for those who are interested in it. If I am a businessman, the government will not come and open business for me. The only thing I can do is to go to the bank and get a loan for my business.
“So when you come and open ranching, you use taxpayers money to come and open ranching for people who are doing their individual businesses. It is very wrong and we do not need it in the southeast. If anybody wants to do ranching, he should go and use his money and do business.
“We have our local cows here, and we know how to carter for them. We have our local herders and they have their cow and they do their local ranching here. They do not wait for the government to come and do it for them. Or are you saying that easterners are no longer part of Nigeria?
“In all nooks and crannies of Nigeria, you see police maintaining check points for stop and search activities. Has it ended armed robbery? If the plan is to check herders and farmers clash, if it is correct, it is not accurate.
“These herders are so adamant. They do not listen to people. They will still go to make trouble here and there. Once you allow them to move with their cows in a bid to create ranching for them, will they adhere to that ranching. They will still carrying their cows here and there.
“They will still follow the route and in the course destroy people’s farm. The important thing is to make the ranching where they are supposed to be. Not where it is not supposed to be, that is just the solution”, he opined.
It would be recalled that the federal government had approved take off of the plan from 10 states of Adamawa, Benue, Ebonyi, Edo, Kaduna, Nassarawa, Oyo, Plateau, Taraba, with a target of N2trn investment.