By Ola Ajayi & Daud Olatunji
Ibadan—THE YORUBA Council of Elders, YCE, has rejected the idea of proposed cattle colony being mooted by the Federal Government.
This came as the Senator representing Kaduna Central, Senator Shehu Sani, and a frontline human rights activist, Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, yesterday, berated the Federal Government over incessant killings by herdsmen in some parts of the country.
Also, the Ogun State Government said it is taking proactive measures to prevent a clash between herdsmen and farmers and also ensure that lives and property in the state are protected.
The YCE said this after the end of its 26th National Executive Council meeting, held in Ibadan yesterday.
The elders also expressed surprise that no arrest has been made three weeks after the murder of some people in Benue State, noting that the kid glove treatment of Myetti Allah speaks volume about the neutrality of the presidency on the matter.
Speaking on behalf of YCE, Dr. Kunle Olajide, Secretary-General of the council said: “YCE totally rejects cattle colony and anti-grazing law as solutions to Fulani herdsmen brutality. We believe restructuring is the only solution. Once the restructuring is done, it will solve all these problems.”
“The Federal government is encouraging Nigerians to go into farming. If we are promoting agriculture and Fulani herdsmen move about with their cattle destroying the farmlands. That is a paradox.”
The elders said unequivocally that the zone would never allow any cattle colony which only favours the Fulani herdsmen.
“Cattle-rearing and farming are business ventures. No businessman will expect any government to come and run his business for him”, he said.
Shehu Sani, Odumakin berate FG over killings
Meanwhile, the Senator representing Kaduna Central, Senator Shehu Sani, and a frontline human rights activist, Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, yesterday, berated the Federal Government over incessant killings by herdsmen in some parts of the country.
While Senator Sani accused Nigerian leaders of insensitivity to ending the wanton killings and bloodshed rocking the country, Dr. Okei-Odumakin declared that the government had failed Nigerians for its failure to stop violent killings.
They said this at a national conference organised in Abeokuta, Ogun State by the Freelance and Independent Broadcasters Association of Nigeria, FIBAN.
The lawmaker, who spoke on the theme: ‘Politics, Media and National Integration – Before 2019 Nigeria’, said rather than taking proactive and decisive steps towards addressing the nation’s problems, political office holders are busy strategizing for re-election in 2019.
Sani, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign and Local Debts, noted that the country was experiencing tension ahead of 2019.
He said: “All is not well with this country. This is the wrong time to shed blood in Nigeria. If you think that people in power will stop the problem in the country, you are in for a fool’s ride. The attention of people is how to win elections and not how they can end senseless killings and bloodshed.
In her lecture, Okei-Odumakin, who is the President of Women Arise for Change Initiative, said the inability to bring the perpetrators of the heinous crimes to book continues to embolden them.
Okei-Odumakin said the proposed cattle colonies will continue to aggravate crisis between herdsmen and farmers as well as indigenes and settlers.
She declared that establishment of ranches was the only way towards addressing the persistent clashes in the country.