The governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has declared support for ranching of livestock in the State, but he clarified that his government won’t cede any portion of land.
He said the proposed federal project funded would be owned by Edo people and will put an end to farmers and herders conflicts over grazing land in the State.
Mr. Crusoe Osagie, Special Adviser on Media Project to the State Governor disclosed this at a local radio programme in Benin in response to the sentiments expressed by some citizens over the recent Town Hall meeting on the proposed Edo government Anti-Open Grazing Law.
Osagie explained that Governor Obaseki’s recent visit to President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja was to discuss Edo State government ranching model with the president and to obtain commitment from him to fund the proposed project in the State.
According to him, “There are funds in the federal government coffers meant to assist States that are interested in animal husbandry, which is part of Cattle rearing. So, instead of saying we do not want cows in Edo State at all, the Governor is saying let us embark on ranching project where Edo people can request funds from the federal government and channel it into livestock farming.
“This is such that people who bring livestock into the State will have a place to keep them before they are either sold or slaughtered by individuals. So, should we cut off this opportunity? That is why the Governor said we want to do ranching, but we will not cede any portion of our land to anyone.
“Our people (Edo people) own the ranches. The funds for ranching is meant for Edo people. When the funds are available, Edo people can apply for it…”, Osagie said.
Continuing, the Governor’s aide said, “We cannot shy away from our common patrimony. That fund is meant for States in Nigeria to help our people”, he said.