The Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba (Dr.) Abdulrasheed Akanbi, has said the proposition by the Federal Government to create ranches as a solution to the incessant herdsmen/farmers clashes around the country will not yield the desired result except herdsmen were first educated.
Noting that ranching is a modern system of rearing livestock, the monarch said the Federal Government must first educate herdsmen before moving to create ranches.
The Oluwo also debunked media reports that he faulted the Yoruba Council of Elders and pan-Yoruba group, Afenirefe’s opposition to the Federal Government’s proposition to create ranches in the 36 states for herdsmen.
In a statement on Monday by his Press Secretary, Mr Alli Ibraheem, the Oluwo said he was quoted out of context, stressing that he never tackled the Yoruba elders.
Rather, he said, his position was that the ethnic discrimination must not be allowed to destroy the country’s unity.
“There was never a time in history that Oluwo faulted any anti-grazing agitators. His position, as a first-class paramount ruler and a father to the nation, was for one Nigeria.
“Oluwo only called the attention of every Nigerian to the side of unity, to see ourselves and soil as one.
“Nigeria belongs to all Nigerians. The word Hausa, Fulani, Yoruba and Igbo are discriminatory. All should be fused as Nigerian for peace and unity to survive.”
“If we claim that some land belongs to a section, are we saying Aliko Dangote should relocate his businesses to the North? Are we saying the westerners in the North should relocate their businesses because Kano is not their land? No. We need a change of direction. If not now, when will it be?” Ibraheem quoted the Oluwo as saying.
On the need to educate herdsmen before embarking on the creation of ranches, Oluwo said most herdsmen were ignorant of the modern system and would require education.
The monarch advised the Federal Government to “launch an aggressive training on ranching before making any request or promulgation on the system.”
“Ranching is a modern practice of cattle rearing as applicable in advanced nations. Nigeria is also developing. We need meat and food from our farms. It is a symbiotic relationship. To avert this menace, Nigerians should be one irrespective of location attachment,” the monarch said.