Kogi’s Governor Yahaya Bello has said his state is ready to pioneer the cattle colony initiative proposed by the federal government across the federation.
Governor Bello stated these yesterday in Lokoja in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary Petra Onyegbule.
According to him, the federal government is taking the decision as a measure to quickly curb the incessant bloody clashes between farmers and herdsmen.
“The governor wishes to allay the fears of the citizens of Kogi State, especially on ownership of communal land, that the policy is never an indirect attempt by the federal government to take and handover ancestral land to herdsmen,” he said.
To ensure that everyone is carried along in this process, the state’s ministry of agriculture will embark on a series of stakeholders’ engagement to sensitise the people, farmers, cattle breeders and others.
“The traditional rulers, leaders of various communities, opinion leaders, religious leaders and the entire citizens will all be carried along in the course of the stakeholders engagement, so that we can collectively study the merits and demerits of the policy.
“This will enable us to jointly find solutions to the demerit and at same time improve on the merits to make it work for our state and for our people without any form of grievances.”
He noted the speculations from various quarters across the nation that President Muhammadu Buhari is conspiring to take over communal land and give it to herdsmen is far from the truth.
“The planned cattle colonies are for the interest of our people; to ensure their safety, develop and boost agricultural production; in turn boost the economy and a better life for all,” he said.
Bello has been one of the staunchest loyalists of Buhari among the governors.
Others are Imo Gov. Rochas Okorocha, Zamfara Gov Ahmed Yari, Kaduna Gov, Nasir El Rufai—all of whom are yet to take position on the policy.