​Benue killings: FG To Set Up Cattle Colonies 

The Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, his agriculture counterpart, Audu Ogbeh, on Monday in Abuja, held a security meeting with the governors of Kaduna, Benue, Niger, Nasarawa, Taraba and Adamawa states over the violent attacks and herdsmen killings in their states.

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The meeting, which was at the instance of the interior minister, discussed strategies and measures to end the crisis rocking the states in which hundreds of people have lost their lives.

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Speaking earlier before the meeting went into a closed-door session, Ogbeh said the Federal Government had decided to set up cattle colonies on 5,000 hectares where herdsmen could live and keep their livestock.

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Ogbeh explained that security would also be provided for the colony by agro-rangers, noting that these measures would be speedily implemented to curb the killings.

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He said, “We are planning a programme called cattle colonies not ranches, but colonies where at least 5, 000 hectares of land would be made available, adequate water, adequate pasture would be made available. We also want to stop cattle rearers from roaming about; the culture of cattle roaming about will be stopped.

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“The cattle will be provided with water and adequate security by the rangers, adequate pasture, milk collection, even security against rustlers to enable them to lead a normal life. This has been done elsewhere in India, Ethiopia and even Brazil,” Ogbeh explained.

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He stated that the government had in the past assisted farmers in various ways, while neglecting herdsmen.

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The minister noted that this negligence was to blame for the current situation in the states affected by the violent crisis.

_  He conceded that the Federal Government had not done enough to cater for the needs of the herdsmen, noting that the government had not looked seriously into livestock development over the years.

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He stated that the lives of farmers and herdsmen should not be under threat by the circumstances of their profession

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