24 January 2018

Nigeria: Next Attack to Attract War, Ondo Elders Threaten

Akure, Port Harcourt, Owerri, Kaduna — Barely 48 hours after the farm of former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Chief Olu Falae, was set ablaze by suspected herdsmen, elders of Akure Kingdom in Ondo State have warned that next attack would result in internecine war. The elders also advised the nomads to desist from attacking other farmers in the area to avoid tribal clashes between them and the indigenes.

They also urged security agencies in the state to be up and doing to avert self-help.Addressing reporters yesterday in Akure, the Asiwaju of Akureland, Prof. Olu Agbi, lamented the rate of attacks on farms in the state.

Agbi, who is also one-time Nigeria's Ambassador to Greece and Australia, said there was need for the Federal Government to be proactive about the activities of the herders before it degenerates to a full-blown ethnic crisis.His words: "Since his (Falae) release and the conviction of the suspects, the farm of the senior citizen has been subject of attack by herdsmen. Apart from the killing of people in his farm, neighbouring farms have also been attacked by these gun-wielding herdsmen.

"The recent burning of Chief Falae's plantation by these same elements calls for worry. We call on the security agencies to protect the life and property of the elder statesman."

The elders also kicked against the cattle colony proposal of the government, stressing that there was no land in the kingdom for the policy.In the same vein, the Rivers and Imo governments as well as the people of Southern Kaduna have expressed their opposition to the policy.

Pledging to ward off all external forces, Governor Nyesom Wike declared that there was no land for cattle colonies in Rivers State.He expressed his reservations yesterday when the D-Source Connect Group, led by Mr. Dike Vincent Amadi, paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House, Port Harcourt.

In a statement yesterday in Owerri by the Commissioner for Information, Prof. Nnamdi Obiareri, the Imo government denied having plans to cede any land for the project. He described the rumour as wicked and mischievous.The statement clarified that there was an existing cattle market in Okigwe, adding: "There is no law, policy, decision, plan, request or intention to cede, allocate or designate any part of Imo as a cattle colony."

According to the senator representing Kaduna South in the National Assembly, Danjuma La'ah, the people of the southern district have no land for the policy, maintaining that their property was strictly for growth and development purposes.In a statement, the lawmaker stated the people's land could no longer be used for exclusive economic benefit of a group of people, as the herdsmen are rich enough to legally acquire property for ranching.

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