By Dayo Johnson
Akure—DISTURBED by the activities of the herdsmen across the country, traditional rulers in Ondo State, yesterday, rejected the proposed cattle colony by the Federal Government vowing not to cede any land in their domain for the project.
This came as workers at the Akure South council area of the state continued to stay away from work following the invasion of their offices by herdsmen on Tuesday.
The traditional rulers, under the auspices of 130 Krown Club, called on the state governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu to make his position known on the proposed cattle colony by the Federal Government.
Rising from a meeting held at the palace of the Ogbolu of lta-Ogbolu, the monarchs expressed concern over the unending attack of the herdsmen across the state.
Addressing newsmen, the Ogbolu of lta Ogbolu, Oba Idowu Faborode, Aladeokun of Idanre, Oba Olusegun Akinbola, Owa-Ale of Ikare-Akoko Oba Samuel Adedoyin-Adegbite and Olupe of Ipe-Akoko, Oba Francis Makanjuola Apata called for government’s intervention on the incessant attacks on farmers.
Oba Adedoyin-Adegbite expressed worry about infiltration of herdsmen in the state noting that “about four truck loads of herdsmen from Iseyin in Oyo State were dropped off in Akoko land last week.”
He said: “We reject cattle colony in any part of Ondo State. The Land Use Decree of 1978 vests the ownership of land on the governors. The Federal Government does not have land unless offshore.
“The governor of Ondo State should take a position on cattle colony. We cannot cede any of our land for cattle colony.”
Also, Oba Akinbola said the monarchs, who would be affected by any policy statement of the governor, should be carried along in any decision-making process. Akinbola said: “The Obas are not trade unions or pressure groups. We want to know the stand of government on the issue of cattle colony.”
Council workers stay off work
Meanwhile, workers at the Akure South council area have continued to stay away from office following the invasion of their offices by herdsmen on Tuesday.
Vanguard findings showed that only few workers were seen loitering around the secretariat discussing last Tuesday’s incident.
Some of the workers, who spoke with Vanguard in confidence, expressed fear adding that “for everything to come back to place, it will be next week Monday. It was a serious matter. We were face to face with death as the herdsmen were pursuing us from one office to the other.”
The source added that “Many of us are yet to get over the shock. It was better imagined. What baffled many of us was that how can the herdsmen be that daring to the extent of pursuing workers of the council with dangerous weapons in broad daylight light?
“More worrisome was that the security operatives that came, could not apprehend any of the herdsmen. We suspect conspiracy on the part of the state Police command.”
Speaking with Vanguard, state chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Bodedern Daramola said that the workers in the council area are mostly field officers and so do not stay in the office.