The South-East Governors
The South-East Governors forum and their South-South counterparts have strongly warned the proponents of cattle colonies popularly call Ruga to steer clear from their region as they have no land for such adventure. To this end, they have jointly advised the federal government to seek land in other states as there is no available land in their states for cattle colonies.
However, in the spirit of being their brothers’ keepers, they have suggested the selling of grasses to cattle in the north in return for cow meat.
The Chairman of the South East Governors Forum and Ebonyi State Governor Chief David Umahi revealed the thoughts and decision of the regions concerning the raging controversy of cattle colonies or Ruga planned by the federal government to be cited in the 36 states of the country.
Gov Umahi, however, said despite the rejection of Ruga in their states they can engage in a very lucrative business of selling grasses to the herdsmen in exchange for cow meat.
Gov Umahi & Cattle
The governor said this proposal had already been made to the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN).
The governor explained that the deal entails that MACBAN will take all its cattle in the south to the northern parts of the country where grazing reserves were established long time ago and rear their cattle there with the grasses that will be supplied from the southern part of Nigeria.
Umahi spoke against the backdrop of his experience as the former Chairman of the Technical Committee on Farmers and Herdsmen which among other things recommended the revamping of the already existing grazing in various parts of the north.
This strategy was arrived at as a vital solution to resolving the incessant conflict between farmers and herdsmen. The herdsmen were to concentrate on their reserves in the north while the farmers are left peacefully in their farms to produce grasses for the herdsmen cattle.
As the chairman of the NEC Sub-Technical Committee on farmers and herdsmen clash, Umahi is said to have toured the states of Benue, Taraba, Nasarawa, Adamawa, Zamfara and two other states.
At the aftermath of his tour, Umahi was persuaded by what he saw to strongly recommend to the federal government the revamping of grazing reserves in the north where cattle in the south will be taken to but they will rely on the grass that is grown in the south.
The statement said “the way it works is that the herdsmen will bring down their cows to the South-east and sell to us as meat while they will load the grasses which are grown here in the same trucks with which they transported their cows to feed their cattle in those grazing reserve which should be made comfortable for them”