Will Osun Have Cow Colony?

Commissioner for Special Duties, Honourable Mudasir Toogun said, “the problem with the cattle colony is in the name itself, no one in Africa will hear the name and it will not send fear down their spine.

“Actually the intention behind it is not to colonise any place, rather it is ‘cattle ranches’. Cattle ranches are a good business and it would provide and create more jobs; the government alone could not foot the bill of these ranches, hence, the need for the industrialists to come and grow feeds for the ranches”.

“Hardly can any state afford to fund the growing of cattle feeds and maintenance of ‘cattle ranches’, it is a big business that require private partnership.

“So, industrialists and cooperate organisations are beckon to establish cattle ranches in the state.

“To contain activities of the Bororos, only the government with its instrumental of power can’t do it.

“What has made the problem more alarming is the development that had taken over our land; we construct roads, build houses, there is population explosion but the land is fixed.

“Also, large cultivation of land is on the increase, so there is a need for cattle ranches, but it could be private business as any other business which any other person can do”.

 

Pogrom, Ranching And Colony By Jerry Agada

Rancolonitis is a new word you will understand as you read along. Sometimes some experiences come to pass which we lack words to describe but which we love to give a name in order to record for posterity. The solution to such a problem as suggested by George Orwell in an article on new words in his collection of essays My Country Right or Left, (Vol. 2, 1940 1943) is to invent new words as deliberately as we would invent new parts for a motor car engine. (Rage and Tears, Jerry Agada, 2002, p63).

Imagine this experience: Farmers in the food basket state are under siege. Not much of farming activities are taking place anymore because of atrocities of herdsmen who supervise the eating up of crops and destruction of farms by their rampaging cattle. Farmers complained and the herders responded by alleging the killing of their members and of rustling their cows as being the reason for attacking the farmers. In fact as at the last count over seventy farmers including husbands, wives, pregnant women and children were mercilessly massacred and for which the state government mournfully gave a mass burial.

Of course that had been preceded by similar incident of gruesome massacres perpetrated in Agatu Local Government Area though the victims never had the opportunity or comfort of State burial not that they didn’t deserve it but because that was a pre-anti open grazing law incident which, though very painful and unfortunate, did not carry the angst of a direct challenge or affront to the Government’s right to enact laws. So the idea slipped at that moment. To forestall such ugly development any further, the State government through the Benue State House of Assembly earlier enacted the anti open grazing law. The herders Association known as Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore responded by rejecting the law intoto, insisting that the state either abrogates the law or the herders will continue with their war of genocide. Then natives began to wonder whether it was the same Fulani herdsmen they had co-habited peacefully with before now or invaders/conquest mongers from other countries.

In the midst of all these, the Federal Government contrives a solution which proposes the establishment of cattle colonies in each of the States. The Federal Government has a good explanation for what it sees as the panacea for farmers/herdsmen conflicts. But the food basket state that had already enacted the anti open grazing law as the best solution feels otherwise and vows to continue with full implementation of the law. Other states are equally kicking against establishment of cattle colonies which they view as neo-colonialism by the fulanis using herdsmen and cows. And so the argument rages on while the Federal Government grapples with the possible solution using the over sixteen States which it claims have agreed to go by the colony option.

Even when the Chief of Army Staff went to show to the Minister of Agriculture the Army’s progress in cattle rearing business, it was cattle ranch and not colony that was beamed to the whole world as the best practice. In other words it is ranching and not colony that is in vogue in cattle rearing. The Federal Government knows that much but it is harping on colony just to be seen to be doing something different if that is the only area its much mouthed change mantra can reflect. With all these confusion therefore, the need arises to find appropriate word to describe the experience that has become prevalent in almost all the States of the federation. It is now a virus which disease has become endemic. Any state that experiences herdsmen/farmers conflict is suffering from that disease.

It is in that connection that it is pertinent to revert to George Orwell’s assertion on inventing new words: That in forming new words, one would have to pay attention to appropriateness of sound as well as exactitude of meaning. And that it would not do to make it out of mere arbitrary collection of letters(Rage and Tears, p61). That is exactly what I have done here by describing the disease of incessant conflict between herdsmen and farmers as RANCOLONITIS. Like meningitis, rancolonitis is a disease which remedy lies in the ability of the affected state to choose between the concept of colony or design and implement necessary laws that can bring about peaceful co-existence between herdsmen and farmers. For Benue State the Open Grazing Prohibition and Establishment of Ranching Law provides the best option and has come to stay.
Professor Jerry Agadais a former Minister of State For Education and Former President, Association of Nigeria Authors(ANA).

Lagos Elders Council Reject Cattle Colony Proposal

The Lagos Elders Council describes the cattle colony proposal by the Federal Government as a time bomb.
The General Secretary, Chief Sunbo Onitiri, said the suggestion was made to favor Fulani herdsmen rampaging the nooks and crannies of the country, destroying people, crops and property.

The group said: “We are not against northerners as a people. This is also not a hate speech. Since the Buhari administration came on board May 29, 2015, 15 major appointments have been made, which placed northerners in full control of power. These are Inspector general of Police, National Security Officer, Secretary to the Government, and Chief of Staff to the President. Of the 22 Assistant Inspectors-General of Police, 15 are northerners. Also are: Director-General, Department of State Services, and Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.

“The Nigerian Army and Air Force are headed by northerners. Also are: Permanent Secretary Ministry of Internal Affairs, Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Services, Acting Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Commission, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, and Head of the Nigerian Ports Authority. Also are the Accountant-General of the Federation, Controller-General of the Nigerian Immigration Services, and the Chairman Presidential Task Force on Pensions Reform.”

The Council claimed the appointments raised a fundamental question on the intention of the Buhari administration, alleging it has been hijacked by a northern cabal.

“It would, therefore, be fool-hardy for southerners to allow the Federal Government to establish cattle colonies in southern states.”
The body urged the Federal Government to begin the process of restructuring Nigeria, declare Fulani herdsmen a terrorist group, provide a suitable environment for businesses to thrive, and empower youths.

“All the tribal and nepotistic appointments of northern Fulani in the strategic national security portfolios should be reversed, because it is a flagrant violation of the provisions of our Federal Character Commission and a fundamental breach of the constitution,” it said.

Bello Promises To Make Kogi ‘Holland Of Nigeria’ Through Cattle Colonies

At a time thatvmany states have refused to go along with the Federal Government’s Cattle Colony agenda, Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi has pledged to make the state be the Holland of Nigeria in terms of dairy milk production and other livestock products for other states to patronise.

Bello made the promise at the Kogi State Agriculture Summit, tagged: “Moving Agriculture To The Next Level”, on Friday in Lokoja, as part of activities to mark his two years in office.

“In Holland, everyone knows that Holland produce more than a quarter of dairy milk and meats for Europe and America.

“Kogi will be the Holland of Nigeria where every other state in Nigeria will come and buy milk and other dairy products.

“They will also buy meat, hides and skin, bones, horns and even cow faeces for manure, which will translate into cash for our people.

“We are looking for opportunities to make money for our people.

“If you have a parcel of land that you are not using, what will happen is that the pastoralists will come and you rent it to them for money.

“Our youths and women will learn how to breed and keep these cows as well.

“And what will happen is that we shall have hire cross breed cows that will produce more milk and high quality meats where other states can come and buy,” Bello said.
Bellp refuted allegations that he was biased in favour of Fulani herdsmen, saying,“They said I am friend to Fulani herdsmen and hate farmers, but they are all falsehood on the pages of newspapers and television.

“We are telling the people that we are tolerant in Kogi, we love our neighbours and seizing and maximising the best of every opportunity.

“Very soon we will tell our Fulani brothers not to take their cows across border to sell again.

“We will ask them to drop their cows in Kogi, and we will rent your land to them to stay.

“A land where people can come and buy, pay tax to government and they will settle the land owners.

“That your land that is there and not generating anything will become a hot cake.

“These are the various benefits we will derive from our coexistence with Fulani herdsmen.

“This is the way we are going to go; in the next six months we shall begin to see the economy of Kogi transforming very rapidly.

“The Federal Government and international agencies are bringing money, grants to Kogi to support livestock production, including keeping these cows in form of ranches in one particular area with facilities called ‘cattle colonies’”.

The governor restated his determination to support President Muhammadu Buhari in implementing his manifestos as far as revolutionary in agriculture was concerned.

He charged youths to forget yhe era of “free money”. “We must return back to farm. Let us key into various programmes of this government, especially in agriculture, he said. “All that is required is your interest and the land… You own your land, we shall give you fund, farm implements and create the market for you, what else are you waiting for?

“Why can’t we tolerate our Fulani bothers and sisters who have lived with us for a very long time? And you want them to leave now to go where?

“We have to be tolerant, we have to tolerate one another, it is out of tolerance that we gathered here today.

“We develop the culture of tolerance by accommodating one another.

“Hold on to your land, we will teach you how to use it judiciously to make huge money in the state; our land is our oil wells that can never dry,” Bello said.

Ikpeazu Rejects Cattle Colony Plan For Herdsmen In Abia

Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, has rejected plans by the federal government to establish “cattle colonies” for Fulani Herdsmen and their cows in Abia State saying that the state will not cede any part of its territory to Fulani herdsman as cattle colony.
According to a press release issued by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary Mr Enyinnaya Appolos, governor Ikpeazu has indicated that Abia state will not accept that any of its land will be used to establish cattle colonies for herdsmen.

“We reject such plan . We don’t have enough land for our agricultural activities and our people want more land. “Giving away any part of Abia land as a colony to herdsmen, wherever they may be from, will be most unjust and unfair treatment to Abia State and her people who are largely farmers.

He added that “such alien land occupation will also cause unrest and crisis that may grow beyond what we can handle when it happens, so the best thing I think we should do is to reject such plans so that those behind it will know that Abia State is not a party to it.”, the press release concluded.