Emotions have overshadowed the debate over Nigerian federal government’s proposed cattle colonies, a former secretary to the Anambra State government and Peoples Democratic Party chieftain, Oseloka Obaze, has said.
The proposal on cattle colony became policy option by the federal ministry of agriculture to address the herdsmen-farmers’ conflicts, which now pose a present danger to Nigeria’s unity and food security.
But the proposal has faced open resistance particularly by the people and state governments in the country’s middle-belt and south.
Speaking as a guest speaker at the fourth annual public lecture of the department of economics of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, on Tuesday, Mr Obaze said “emotions and fears’ had been allowed “to drown out the proper debate, assessment and evaluation of cattle colony (for cattle production) which remains a critical component of Nigeria economy, income generation and employment.”
He said that that solving the farmer/herdsmen conflict requires all Nigerians to rise above the battle space and seek solutions that will serve the public good.
He, then, added that the issue of issue of cattle colony needs to be discussed “very dispassionately”.
He urged the federal government to live up to its statutory responsibility of protecting the lives of Nigerian citizens.
According to him, the federal and state government have failed woefully in addressing the security issues bothering on the wielding of arms and ammunition by herdsmen.
That is a national disaster in the making, he warned.
Mr Obaze is a retired diplomat, with working experience in the United Nations and Nigeria’s foreign service. As the PDP’s candidate, he contested the last Anambra governorship election, which he lost to the incumbent Willie Obiano of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA.
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