By Chinonso Alozie
OWERRI—A SOCIO-CULTURAL organisation and town unions in Imo State yesterday called on the people of the state to brace up for a peaceful protest against the planned establishment of cattle ranches in the state.
The groups’ coordinator Mr. Emeka Diwe and Secretary, Sylvester Nwogu, through a statement to Vanguard in Owerri claimed that the people of the state were angry.
The anti-ranching protest is being planned as the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Imo State chapter, raised an alarm over the said bid by the Imo State House of Assembly to pass a bill to legalise cattle ranching in the state.
Recall that Vanguard had reported that some communities in the state had suffered setback as a result of invasion of their farms by herdsmen.
Also, some women in the state were reportedly fined for protesting against herdsmen.
According to the group, “We, the Coalition of Imo Socio-Cultural Organisations and Town Unions have rejected the bill for the establishment of cattle ranches in Imo State as well as a bill for the registration and issuance of Certificate of Occupancy, C of O, to lands in the rural areas currently before the Imo State House of Assembly.
“Cattle rearing is a personal business of northerners and herdsmen who do not own any land or village in Imo state.”
They lamented that “Imo State House of Assembly abandoned other critical areas begging for their intervention only to dabble into the dangerous invitation of the herdsmen into Imo State through the said bill.