….our people adequately sensitized, compensation process on
By Gabriel Ewepu
ABUJA – The Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, Friday, disclosed that the State has commenced cattle ranches on 15, 000 hectares of land in two local government areas.
Bello stated this during his official visit to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, in Abuja, where he delivered a letter to that effect.
According to him the two local government areas are Ajaokuta and Adavi. Ajaokuta gave 10, 000 hectares, while Adavi gave 5, 000 hectares of land.
He maintained that the government has done effective sensitization of the people in the State, therefore they have keyed into the programme, and many other local government areas will soon be part of it give their lands for cattle ranches.
He also stated that the ranches were a pilot project, and that the Fulani herdsmen will be brought into the two ranches over a period of time since there was no Anti-Grazing Law enacted by the State.
He said: “The people of Kogi State have keyed into the cattle ranch project 100 per cent. The people are well sensitized have embraced the programme.
We have gotten 15, 000 hectares of land from Ajaokuta Local Government Area and 5, 000 hectares of land from Adavi Local government Area of the State.
“The local communities are well sensitized and are ready to key into the programme. We are here to summit our letter on this to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. We are ready to be part of any other thing the government will want.
“We are also on the compensation process of those whose land are taken for the programme.”
In his response, the Minister appreciated the move by the Governor and said the federal government will support the project, and also stated that people who are mischievous have been misinterpreting the motive of the government on cattle colonies.
He said there was no plan by the government to take over lands from states and give it to Fulani herdsmen for colonization.
“It is not about foreigners coming in to colonise us. It is unfortunate that people have been mischievous about it. We hear all sorts of comments on the media about the issue of cattle colonies even in the religious circle.
“We are not planning to take land from states for Fulanis to occupy. Even somebody from Bayelsa State is rearing cows in his state, and the business is open to all Nigerians.
“We cannot continue to lament and say nothing can be done, but we have to do something because as a government we need peace. We don’t want the killings to continue”, he said.
He also explained that cattle rearing should not be seen as a private business that needs no government intervention.
“People say cattle rearing is a private business, but they have forgotten that government assist farmers of rice, maize, millet, groundnut, fish, goats, pigs, and others.
“The aim of the government is to solve the herdsmen-farmers clash, and we want state governments to key into it, which we wrote earlier to state governments, which 16 agreed to give land for cattle ranches, while some did not reply, and others refused”, he stated.