The Presidency has told those against the administration’s ranching and colony programmes for herdsmen to have a rethink.
It said they are better off living with the ranches and colonies than dying through the persisting conflicts between farmers and herdsmen.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina, made this known on Tuesday on an AIT morning programme in response to a question on ancestral attachments to land as monitored by Vanguard newspaper.
Adesina also said it was not a religious issue.
He said: “Hundreds have been killed in Zamfara.
“Are they Christians?
“People have been killed in Birnin Gwari.
“Are they Christians?
“What is happening is criminality, pure and simple, and it must be brought to an end.
“Government has a big role to play in this but the people themselves have a role to play.
“Some people are saying don’t use government money to build ranches.
“If truly they don’t have lands, that is fine, but remember that Kogi State offered 15,000 hectares of land for cattle colony and in the midst of that offer vicious attacks were unleashed.
“In Plateau State, where we had the recent orgy of killings, the government has offered land for ranches and I tell you that some people are interested in this thing not being resolved.”
Asked about the ancestral attachment by the people of those states to their lands, Adesina said: “Ancestral attachment?
“You can only have ancestral attachment when you are alive.
“If you are talking about ancestral attachment, if you are dead, how does the attachment matter?
“The National Economic Council that recommended ranching didn’t just legislate it, there were recommendations.
“So, if your state genuinely does not have land for ranching, it is understandable.
“Not every state will have land for ranches.
“But where you have land and you can do something, please do for peace.
“What will the land be used for if those who own it are dead at the end of the day?”
Adesina said the Muhammadu Buhari Administration was doing its best to ensure peace throughout the country, adding: “There are different theatres of crises in the country and you may look at each theatre with its peculiarities.
“In the Middle Belt, it has its own peculiarities.
“And what is the peculiarity of that”
“What has the government done?
“It has sent in security agencies starting with the police, later troops, later different operations by the military.”