Despite claims of the current Government House sitting on a cattle route, the Plateau State Government might not demolish the structure after all.

Instead, the government is pursuing the ranching policy towards compensating for many of the grazing routes that have now been encroached into by development in many cities, State Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Town Planning, Festus Fwantyer said yesterday.

According to him, the mistake in citing the new Government House on a Cattle Route isn't the fault of the present or past administration, but the problem of urbanization and population growth.

He said, "Some of these routes are as old as 1920. And some of them have been gazetted as far back as the 40s, 50s and the 60s.

"But over time, population had increased. With the increase in population, urbanization and development, some of those routes are now in the middle of the cities.

"These routes were initially designed far outside the towns so that they don't interfere with farms or settlements.

"But now, development has encroached into most of them and that is part of the reasons we are experiencing what we face today because what used to be a grazing route is now a farm or settlements.

"So if the governor said government house is sitting on a grazing route, I will check the maps to see if it is and if it is, I will tell you it is because development has consumed most of the routes and that is why we are looking at ranching."

Mr. Fwantyer said the ranching policy itself is bound to face resistance from the nomadic Fulani who are used to wondering and might find controlled grazing strange.

"The Fulani man is used to free grass. When you ask him to go and ranch, it comes at a cost. You must fence the place, you must cultivate the place to plant the grass.

"As good as the idea could be, it is bound to have resistance until probably when we get to a time they imbibe it and we make progress," he said.

The Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong had recently said the present Government House in Rayfield, Jos South LGA is sitting on a grazing route.

The statement which was made on a TVC interview programme has generated widespread controversy across the state.

The Governor has over time insisted on adopting cattle ranching practice after failing to succeed with the move to create grazing reserves.

While his efforts have endeared him to the federal government and a section of the north, including party supporters in his state, there have been protests against the governor's proposals.

Lalong had recently said he cautioned Governor Simon Ortom of Benue State against implementing anti-grazing laws in his state.

The statement attracted wide criticisms even from outside the middle belt region.