As Igbo patriots reject cattle colony, open grazing
By Enyim Enyim & Dennis Agbo
AWKA—GOVERNOR Willie Obiano of Anambra State has given the cattle dealers association two weeks ultimatum to pay compensation to farmers in some communities whose crops were destroyed last year by herdsmen.
The South East zonal chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle breaders Association, MACBAN, Alhaji Idris Sadiq Gidado stated this in an interview with the Vanguard.
He said they have N137,000 to pay the affected communities, adding that it was only Ufuma community that had outstanding compensation that would be paid in the next five days.
This came as the Patriots, an amalgamation of Igbo progressives, yesterday rejected any form of colony, open grazing or grazing bills for cattles in Igbo land.
Gidado, however said that so far, they have paid compensation to Ezeagu, Mbaukwu, Okija, Omo, Aguleri, Ayamelum and a few others.
He said the association and communities had entered into an agreement that if a herdsman destroys farmers crops, the owner of the cattle will pay heavy compensation to the farmers whose crops were destroyed.
“Cattle that were killed last year by aggrieved farmers in some communities were more than 100, but governor Willie Obiano asked the communities to pay for 78 cattle whose cost stood at N50, 000 each.”
According to him, the agreement was reached by the leadership of the association, cattle owners, community leaders, leaders of farmers association and government
However, he said it was further agreed that if a cattle is killed, the community will produce the killer or pay compensation to the owner of the cattle at the current market value.
Patriots reject cattle colony, open grazing
The patriots, an amalgamation of Igbo Progressives have equivocally rejected any form of colony, open grazing or grazing bills for cattles in Igbo land.
The group in a press conference in Enugu, yesterday, also urged Ndigbo to embrace the ongoing voters registration and obtain their permanent voters cards, PVCs.
The Patriots said they were amazed on how some Igbo leaders were moving towards accepting any of the cattle-intended occupation of some parts of Igbo land and describe the move as reprehensible.
Coordinator of the group, Mr. Obumneme Okafor in conjunction with other members of the group said it was perplexing that the federal government was moving for cattle settlements, while it ignores the horrendous actions and atrocities by herdsmen that have led to unconscionable destruction of lives and food crops.
“We appeal to all men and women of goodwill of Igbo extraction in all forms of government and authority to heed the clarion call, lend their voices, influence, connections, power defacto and dejure in this struggle against internal neo colonialism and subjugation,” the group pleaded.
They went further to call on legislative houses on the South East geopolitical zone to enact anti-grazing and Cattle colony laws with dire consequences for infractions and empower the state governors to enforce the law without let or hindrance.
In the light of the challenges, the group called on all Igbo that are 18 years and above to obtain their permanent voters cards, PVC, in the ongoing continuous voters registration for electoral process.
“That is the only legitimate weapon through which you can participate and influence the electoral process by electing true representatives who will be on sync with our yearnings and aspirations as a people.
“We urge President Muhammadu Buhari to deescalate the tension in the land by being more sensitive, just, considerate, humane and parochial in dealing with affairs of the nation taking into cognizance the ethnic, cultural and religious diversities of Nigerians,” the group stated.