By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor
Esan National Congress, ENC, a group representing the interest of Esan people, the dominant ethnic group in Edo Central senatorial district of Edo State, has rejected proposals to site cattle colonies or ranches in the senatorial district.
The group, in a statement weekend, said the resolution was upon its observation of what it alleged was the deadly fallouts from the activities of herdsmen in the region and other parts of the country that had given land to herdsmen.
A statement by its interim chairman, Chief Omochiere Aisagbonhi, the Esogban of Ubiaja, also called on the authorities not to contemplate making the senatorial district the location of any cattle colony or ranch for herdsmen.
He said: “Esan people, as a peaceful race with law-abiding citizens, welcome other law-abiding and peace-loving persons who wish to do legitimate and beneficial business in Esanland. Any business to be so carried out must not be to the detriment of the original inhabitants and owners of the land.
“In view of the attendant effects of cattle ranching/colony in parts of the country where farmers and other citizens have been and are being killed or kidnapped by supposed herdsmen, Esan People say ‘no’ to any effort for their land or territory to be used for cattle ranching/colony.”
“Esan people have been following events relating to cattle business as carried out by herdsmen in Nigeria. Esan people are not unaware of the historical background of cattle and herdsmen businesses in areas that have come persistently under attacks by the herdsmen to the point that the original inhabitants and land owners have been displaced from their ancestral homes.
“In view of the attendant effects of cattle ranching/colony in our immediate, surrounding and external environment in Nigeria, where farmers and other citizens have been and are being killed, maimed or kidnapped daily by supposed pastoralists/herdsmen, Esan People say ‘no’ to any effort for their land or territory to be used for cattle ranching/colony.”