I’ll approve ranching for herdsmen if elected Enugu governor – Frank Nweke Jr - Naijarecent
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I’ll approve ranching for herdsmen if elected Enugu governor – Frank Nweke Jr

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The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Enugu State, Frank Nweke Jr, has said that he will approve the ranching system for herdsmen in the state if elected governor in 2023.

Nweke said he will approve the ranching system as part of his plans to solve the farmers-herders challenge in Enugu State.

The former Minister of Information and National Orientation stated this on Wednesday evening during a virtual governorship town hall meeting organised by Ikenga Media and Cultural Awareness Initiative (IMCAI) in collaboration with Urban Radio, Enugu.

Asked about the practical way he would end the mayhem, he said that he cannot rule out the economic and nutritional value of herdsmen’s cattle but that should not undermine the need and value of the farmers’ crops. Therefore, rather than send the herders out of the state, he would encourage ranching for them.

Nweke said, “My position is very simple and very pragmatic. First, I recognise the role of the herdsmen in the food chain and in the nutritional needs of the society. But I also recognise the role of farmers who plant crops, fruits, vegetables, that they also have a very important role to play.

“Best case scenario is for there to be peaceful coexistence. But under my watch as governor and under my administration, I will not condone any act by herders or farmers that would undermine the other party. As your animal is important to you, so are the crops to farmers.

“What we must do is to encourage ranching, but more importantly, we will devise a mechanism to make it difficult for herdsmen to destroy the crops of the farmers.

“This is where one’s language ability and exposure in Northern Nigeria will come into play. The fact that I understand their view and cultures and things that are important to them, I believe that we can, through constructive engagement, agree on a set of things that will encourage them to do things better.

“But for the long term, we are going to encourage them to start ranching in Enugu State but I will do everything within my powers to protect our people, to make sure that their sources of livelihood are not destroyed by anybody by whatever they are called.”

He lamented such disheartening incidents going on in the Isi-Uzo Local Government Area of the state between farmers and herdsmen.

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