Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State on Sunday called on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to encourage cattle ranching so as to stop incessant killings between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria.
Okowa, who spoke at the St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Ekpan, Uvwie Local Government Area of the state during the third session of the 12th Synod of the Diocese of Warri, Anglican Communion, noted that open grazing should be highly discouraged.
The governor, who decried the killings by suspected herdsmen across the country, posited that it was time for those involved in cattle rearing to embrace ranching.
He said, “Herdsmen/farmers clash is a national problem and as a state, we are trying to bring the crisis to the barest minimum. As a nation, we must go into ranching for our cattle.
“It is our hope that necessary actions will be taken for us to go into ranching. We cannot continue to allow our cattle to be roaming around.”
Okowa, however, disclosed that he had sent a bill to the state House of Assembly seeking to criminalise youths harassing and extorting money from companies and property developers.
The governor, accompanied by the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Chief Sheriff Oborevwori, the state Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olorogun Kingsley Esiso and other top government functionaries, warned youths in the state to stop such practice as anyone caught would be dealt with.
“We have sent a bill to the Delta State House of Assembly which will criminalise ‘deve’ (extortion) by youths and anyone who is found guilty will go to jail.
“Anyone who is caught causing trouble, no matter how highly placed you are or who your sponsors are, will face the wrath of the law. We like the peace we are enjoying in the state,” Okowa added.