The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has declared the federal government has no intention of forcibly taking private lands to establish the proposed cattle colonies.
He said the idea behind the programme is not to seize farmlands and hand them over to Fulani herdsmen as been peddled in certain quarters.
Rather, Ogbeh disclosed the federal government’s intention is to provide safe and controlled environments for cattle to graze as well as as bring an end to the incessant clashes between farmers and herdsmen in some parts of the country.
He said: “If any suspicion does arise, it is unintended and regrettable. We never meant and do not have the intention to seize anyone’s land by force. The federal government will not force states to surrender their land or force any of them to do what it does not like to do.
“We have agreed to work together to create a new culture of cattle rearing different from what we have today. We are told that it is a custom of the herdsmen to be moving around. The current culture of open grazing is posing serious challenge and not too efficient.”