Femi Falana (SAN) has told the federal government not to confuse Nigerians by using the word colonies and ranches interchangeably.
The minister of agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, disclosed that colonies will be established to put a stop to herdsmen and farmers clashes.
Ogbeh said: “When we spoke of colonies, we were immediately greeted with reactions that this was an attempt to cease Nigeria’s land and give to the Fulanis to colonise.
“The intention is not for Fulanis or anyone to colonise any territory. Colonies and ranches are the same thing in many ways except that a colony is bigger than a ranch.”
Reacting, Falana warned that referring to the closed grazing project as colonies might mislead herders to think they can colonise the states they are given lands to build ranches on.
The legal luminary pointed out Ogbeh had proposed the idea of ranching for over a year but it was “jettisoned to the detriment of peace and stability of the nation.”
“But having lost thousands of people and destruction of properties worth billions of naira in avoidable clashes between farmers and herdsmen in several parts of the country the federal government has now decided to establish the ranches.
“While this belated decision is a welcome development, Chief Audu Ogbeh should be restrained from causing confusion by giving the misleading impression that the federal government intends to allow owners of cattle to colonise the states that have donated land for the establishment of ranches,” he added.