Feb 2nd, 2018 – Yoruba Traditional Rulers Reject Proposed Cattle Colony For Fulani Herdsmen, Call It Modern Slavery
Oyo Governor Abiola Ajimobi has urged Buhari’s government not to establish a cattle colony across the country.
The governor who said the move is tantamount to modern slavery expressed concern about the controversy surrounding the proposed cattle colony during a visit by the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III in Ibadan yesterday.
The eminent monarch led prominent traditional rulers to see the governor at the Government House.
Oba Adeyemi, who shared similar sentiments, also said the idea was ill-advised and unacceptable to the people.
“Cattle colony is tantamount to modern slavery because colony is synonymous with colonisation. We cannot have that in Oyo State. It is a pointer to the fact that federalism is not working in Nigeria.
“If poultry farmers or owners of piggeries, among others, are not being offered colonies for their livestock, why should herdsmen be a survival category?
“Our position is to support controlled ranching, under which we will provide land and other basic modern facilities for good cattle business as well as breeding. Those wishing to rear cattle will use the facilities at moderate cost. No more, no less.
“You will say the governor is the Chief Security Officer of his state, but he has no control over the police. That is another problem we have with our type of federalism. Another example is about those digging for treasures in our communities but collect licences from the Federal Government.
“This is wrong. Nigeria needs true federalism. We will keep talking about it until it materialises.”
Oba Adeyemi, who said he was speaking the minds of other rulers with him, applauded the government for its stand on land acquisition for farming and livestock.
At a broad level, he said, the committee of obas backed the government on the proposed cattle colony.
The frontline monarch insisted that all land belongs to the government.
“We appreciate the governor for his forthrightness on this issue and for standing for the rights of the downtrodden, especially the people of his state. The Federal Government does not own land; it belongs to the state.
“So, if truly we are practising federalism, the Federal Government should not be collecting value added tax (VAT) on businesses in Ibadan while the state struggles to provide facilities for the same businesses.
“Our people are not cattle rustlers. Therefore, we can vehemently say now that we stand against cattle colony. We support our governor on his stand on ranching and against colony.”