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PDP, YCE caution Ekiti against plan to set up enclosed ranching

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Governor Kayode Fayemi

Mixed reactions have trailed the proposed establishment of enclosed grazing/ranching under the National Livestock Transformation Plan by Ekiti State Government.

The Ekiti State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), while reacting to the proposed plan aimed at curbing incessant clashes between farmers and herdsmen in the state, urged Governor Kayode Fayemi not to cede any part of the state for the establishment of cattle ranches for herdsmen.

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In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Raphael Adeyanju, the PDP said though ranching was good, the government should not use public funds for the creation.

It described cattle breeding as a private business being undertaken by everyone irrespective of ethnic affinity, adding that interested herdsmen should establish ranches on their own since open-grazing was no longer fashionable in the 21st century.

The party, therefore, vowed to resist with available constitutional means any attempt by the governor to play politics with the destiny of the Ekiti people because of his rumoured 2023 presidential ambition.

IN the same vein, the Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) has urged caution because of the mutual suspicion among ethnic groups in the country.

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Secretary of YCE, Dr. Kunle Olajide, in a telephone chat with The Guardian yesterday, noted that though the idea was a welcome development, the government must exercise caution.

He said that people would not want any surreptitious plan by anybody from any part of the country to take over land in Ekiti State, saying: “We have no objection to the state establishing ranches to ameliorate farmers/herders’ clashes. But nevertheless, we must not overlook the fact that there is heavy mutual suspicion in Nigeria and the details of the National Livestock Transformation Plan are not known to Nigerians.

“We do not know the condition under which the Federal Government is establishing it. We view some of the decisions of the current administration with a lot of suspicions.

“As such, I believe that a lot of work still has to be done. Firstly, the citizenry must understand what the National Livestock Transformation means. Secondly, whatever local council that ranches are going to be set up, I will advise the government to involve the traditional rulers and notable citizens of that community.”

“We do not want any surreptitious plan by anybody from any part of the country to take over land in Ekiti. It is a welcome development but a lot of care must be taken and the people must know what the plan is all about.”

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