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S’East Govs, Ohaneze reach accord on no grazing land in region, notifies FG

Contrary to news making the rounds in social media and other spaces that Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha had succumbed to pressure from the North to allocate lands for ranching, the South East Governors had made it clear that there is no part of the region earmarked for ranching.

This was made public by Chief Dave Umahi who addressed the media shortly after a strategy meeting which the leadership of Ohaneze was in attendance.

The Ebonyi State Governor averred that no part of the five south east states is available for ranching, the federal government is aware that we do not have such massive lands for ranching and we are not ready to cede an inch of the region for the ranching programme.

Whereas the Ohaneze President, Chief John Nnia Nwodo described providing any land which is scare in the region for ranching as “an explosive ethnic bomb”, he argued that ranching remains only one of the over 1,000 private businesses operated by Nigerians and should not be taken as government driven.

Observers say just like other businesses try to abide by the laws and regulations guiding their businesses, Fulani herdsmen should abide by the law and approach banks to access credit they may need to set up ranching in states that have the land for them. Government should not be seen as playing a protectionist role for the business to the extent of telling Nigerians that giving out lands for herdsmen is better than death.

Besides, a tax expert has tasked the federal ministry of Finance to come up with a half year report on the totality of taxes and earnings so far made from cattle business in Nigeria that will warrant the trending protectionist posture.