• To set up 3 pilot ranches
Magnus Eze, Abuja
Taraba State Government has said it will not chicken out on implementing the open grazing prohibition and ranches establishment law recently enacted in the state.
Governor Darius Ishaku, who stated this, at the weekend, said delayed implementation of the law was to ensure that people did not suffer unnecessarily and, also, forestall labelling the government as being insensitive to people’s feelings.
The governor, who spoke through his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Bala Dan Abu, in Abuja, yesterday, said he had, on assumption of office, battled cattle rustlers to submission without anticipating the current herdsmen’s onslaught.
“But, the government does not intend to back out; the law is in force, it is going to be implemented. What the governor has said is that it will be done gradually so people do not suffer unnecessarily; so that people who are opposed to it will not say government is unmindful of the feelings of the people,” Abu said.
He also explained that the emphasis of the law is to ensure that herders stop wandering about through development of model ranches and that the state government is already establishing three pilot ranches which others will take a cue from, to enable herders enjoy their trade.
The governor’s aide said ranching is not strange in the state, especially in the Mambilla area, but noted that the ranches there were not of modern standard, as obtainable in Europe and other places.
“The state government wants to improve on what is available now to ensure those ranches are provided with facilities like water, grass, veterinary clinics and even schools for their children, so they can derive maximum benefit from their cow. The ultimate idea is that if they stay in one place, their cow will become better, fatter and produce more milk. There is a plan to establish a dairy factory, making use of the milk from the cattle.
“Unfortunately, and to the surprise of many, some people are saying they don’t want it; it’s not even the herders themselves, those against it are some elite Fulani; most of who are outside Taraba.”