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Director-General of the Voice of Nigeria (VON) Mr. Osita Okechukwu on Sunday said the flag-off of the N6.25 billion Katsina ranch was more important to the survival of the nation than the electronic transmission of results rejected by the National Assembly last week.

Ranch development, according to him, will serve as the end-game to worsening herders/farmers clashes across the country.

Chatting with newsmen in Abuja, Okechukwu urged President Muhammadu Buhari to fast-forward ranch development nationwide, pledging his community land for the project.

Okechukwu, who is a founding member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), also said the “Katsina Ranch is a poster boy of the National Livestock Transformation Plan,” which should be embraced by all.

The VON boss counseled other States to queue after Kastina by providing land for the establishment of ranches as a panacea to the persistent and avoidable clashes between the herders and farmers.

He said: “For me, the flag-off of the N6.25 billion Katsina ranch is the end-game for the incessant and controversial herders/farmers clashes in Nigeria and hence the foremost news of the week.”Asked why he rated ranch development as more important than the transmission of election results electronically, an issue at the heart of free and fair election, Okechukwu said the nation has lost more souls to herdsmen/farmers clashes than anything else.

According to him: “I doubt if there is any farming community in Nigeria, especially in the Middle Belt that did not lose one person.

“What of food insecurity unleashed by herders/farmer’s clashes? And you talk of polarisation of the country; methinks the clashes polarised our dear countrymen more than elections? It regrettably promoted our fault lines.

“The truism is the rise of separatist non-state actors like Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho is fueled by Herders/Farmers clashes. Their supporters are mostly victims of the clashes.

“Even us the Buharists are at pains on how the herders/farmers clashes more or less blurred the unprecedented Buhari’s Agrarian Revolution and rendered irrelevant Mr. President’s strides in physical infrastructure.

“Please, I am not saying that electronic transmission of results is not important but we should not forget that democracy is in recession worldwide, and going by local parlance, APC and PDP are the same coins.”


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