Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State on Friday opposed the planned creation of grazing zones across the country by the Federal Government.
Amosun argued that creating grazing zones would not address the incessant clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria.
The governor said he would rather support the establishment of cattle ranches as a lasting solution to the conflict.
Amosun, who spoke in Abeokuta while receiving the technical committee on herdsmen/farmers clashes, set up by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, described the initiative as “timely and a step in the right direction.”
The governor also enjoined Nigerians to embrace peace, stressing that no issue could be resolved with violence.
He tasked security agencies to investigate the nationality of the killer herdsmen to ascertain if, indeed, they hailed from foreign countries as alleged in some quarters.
“People have suggested a number of solutions. But, for me, I would not support grazing. They should take it as a business, probably building ranches privately. We should not try to solve a problem by creating another one,” Amosun said.
In his earlier remarks, the head of the technical committee, Major General Edward Nze explained that the panel was set up by the CDS at the instance of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He noted that the violent clashes between herdsmen and farmers in the country posed a threat to national security.
Nze disclosed that “Operation Accord” would be launched by the military authorities to tackle the problem.
He stated that the technical committee had also visited some affected states, including Nasarawa, Benue, Enugu, Zamfara, Ondo, Ekiti and Oyo, ahead of the planned operation.
He disclosed that during the delegation’s visit to Ogun, the members would meet with relevant stakeholders to ascertain facts about the herdsmen and farmers’ clashes.
Nze said, “When we finish, we will take back the information we gathered to Abuja, where we would present it to the Chief of Defence Staff who, in turn, would use it to plan an operation that can assist us to deal with menace once and for all.
“If we don’t nip that very issue in the bud, it may grow into a monster that would be more than what we are having in the North East.”