By Dapo Akinrefon
Lagos—Yoruba leaders, under the aegis of Yoruba Summit, yesterday, rejected the proposed cattle colony by the Federal Government saying it is a “violation of the sensibilities of different nationalities whose lands would be partitioned for Fulani herdsmen.”
They also called on the Federal Government to declare killer herdsmen and militias as terrorists, just as they described the attacks on Yoruba persons and their property as unwarranted and provocative.
The leaders met in an extra-ordinary session in Lagos against the background of the incessant criminal activities of Fulani herdsmen across Yorubaland in recent days.
The meeting, presided over by Chief Ayo Adebanjo, had in attendance, former governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko; Prof Banji Akintoye, Dr Amos Akingba, Secretary of the Yoruba Council of Elders, Dr Kunle Olajide; Senator Femi Okurounmu, former Nigerian ambassador to The Netherlands, Dr Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosumu; former deputy governor of Lagos State, Senator Kofo Bucknor-Akerele; Mr Goke Omisore, Chief Supo Shonibare, Dr Femi Adegoke, Hon Oladipo Olaitan, Otunba Deji Osibogun, Mrs Tokunbo Ekukinam, and Mr Bolaji Ogunseye, among others.
They condemned among others the killings of a pregnant woman in Ekiti, a farmer in Ogun State and the setting ablaze of the farms of former Secretary to the Federal Government, Chief Olu Falae; Vice-Admiral Samuel Afolayan (retd); former Secretary to Oyo State Government, Mr Dele Adigun and Mrs Roseline Ogege in Abeokuta.
In a communiqué issued at the end of its meeting and signed by Mr. Yinka Odumakin, the Yoruba Summit condemned the assaults and called on the Federal Government “to be alive to its responsibility by enforcing the laws against these criminal activities and perpetrators of such in order to regain the confidence of the people.”
Proffering ways to end the menace of the armed Fulani herdsmen currently threatening peace, order, and productivity in the country, the Yoruba Summit said it was imperative to “declare the killer herdsmen and militias as terrorists, disarm the Fulani herdsmen and militias and probe the source of their arms.”
The communiqué reads: “the meeting also took strong objections to the obnoxious and vexatious proposal by the Federal Government to establish cow colonies across Nigeria in aid of private business and in violation of the sensibilities of different nationalities whose lands would be partitioned for Fulani herdsmen reminiscent of the Berlin Conference where Africa was portioned for different colonial powers as a colony presupposes a settlement of invading power in a given community where alien laws and values prevail.
“We resolved that no inch of Yorubaland will be available for cow colony as Yoruba are in favour of only ranching of cattle, where those in such business will acquire land according to extant rules and subject their operations to the norms and culture of their host communities.
“Meeting also called on Yoruba people to begin venturing into modern ranching for consumption and export while our state governments should evolve policies in the promotion of ranching by Yoruba people.”