7 February 2018

Nigeria: No Land for Cattle Colonies in Delta - Okowa

Asaba — The Delta State government yesterday expressed its opposition to the cattle colony proposal of the Federal Government.

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, who stated this during a stakeholders' meeting in Asaba, lamented the inability of the central government to rein in the armed herdsmen.

During the parley, which involved nomads, farmers, community leaders and heads of security agencies, the governor challenged the Federal Government to come up with a clear cut policy direction on the controversial issue.

He noted that as part of short-term measures to address the perennial clash between herdsmen, farmers and host communities, local council chairmen in the state had been mandated to set up all-embracing special task forces on security within a week.

Okowa said: "Some of the herdsmen who look after the cows are so young that most times, they are not able to take decisions concerning the cows, as long as they carry arms and ammunitions, there is a major security issues at stake."

He insisted that the state has no land for cattle colonies, disclosing that most citizens were migrating to neighbouring Edo State for farming due to inadequacy of land.

The governor went on: "In the next one week, we need to have an interventionist committee on security in all the local government areas of the state while we await a definite policy direction from the Federal Government. Chairmen of the local government areas must ensure that names of members of the committee get to the office of the Secretary to the State Government, who is the Chairman of the Central Coordinating Committee, and ensure that minutes of their inaugural meetings are also sent to the SSG."

Okowa said that it was wrong for anybody to perpetrate crime in the state under the guise of herdsmen

He added "The Nigerian constitution does not allow anyone to graze on somebody's farm. It does not permit you to forcefully take over someone's house, we can co-exist as a people but, as we co-exist, there must be mutual respect for one another. Whoever you are, when you engage in crime, the law takes its course."

The Commissioner of Police, Muhammada Alhaji Mustapha, assured the citizens of their security.

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