State governments on Thursday differed on ranching for herdsmen as a solution to killings and kidnappings by herders.

Officials of Oyo, Cross River, Kogi, Enugu, Ondo and Ekiti state governments in separate interviews with The PUNCH, said their states had no plans to establish ranches for herdsmen.

But their counterparts in Zamfara and Gombe states said they had begun plans to set up ranches for herdsmen.

While Gombe State’s Director General, Press Affairs Government House, Ismaila Misilli, said the state had allocated 130 hectares of land for the project, Zamfara State Director General Media, Publicity and Enlightenment, Alhaji Yusuf Idris, said the state Ruga settlements would soon be completed.

But officials of other states described ranching as a private business, adding that interested investors should establish it.

Following increasing killings and kidnappings by herdsmen in the country, there have been renewed calls on state and federal governments to establish ranches for herdsmen.

For example, the Vice President of the Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria, Sheikh Abdur’rasheed Hadiyatullahi, in an interview with journalists in Osogbo, Osun State on Thursday last week advised, governors of South-West states to consider creation of ranches before banning open grazing.

Recall that the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, had on January 18 issued a seven-day ultimatum to herdsmen to vacate the state’s forest reserves.

Although Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders’ Association of Nigeria initially opposed the order, after a peace meeting on January 25 involving Nigeria Governors’ Forum and Akeredolu, the cattle breeders accepted Ondo State Government’s directive.

In an interview with one of our correspondents on Thursday, the Chief Press Secretary to Oyo State governor, Taiwo Adisa, said herdsmen in the state were free to apply for land to build ranches for their livestock.

Adisa added that the state government would not establish a ranch.

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