Nigeria: Ebonyi State Denies Alleged Land Donation for Cattle Colony

19 February 2018

Abakaliki — The Commissioner for Environment, Chief Donatus Njoku, yesterday refuted a trending report on the social media that Governor David Umahi had donated portions of land for the Federal Government's proposed cattle colony in Ebonyi State.

Briefing newsmen in Abakaliki, Njoku described the report as "absolute falsehood and a misrepresentation of the position of governor at a meeting he held with herdsmen, farmers and security agencies."

He ordered for the immediate arrest of a Facebook user (name withheld) for allegedly peddling false information that are injurious to the current administration in the state.

The commissioner noted that his boss had made it clear that the state does not have land to give out for any other thing besides agriculture, adding that the government's position was that resident herdsmen should liaise with their host communities to ensure peace.

He said those nomads wishing to relocate their cows must have an arrangement with the community leaders to provide a grazing route for the livestock in order not to cause obstruction, stating that there was never a time the state provided a grazing colony.

His words: "That (the report) was a complete misrepresentation of the government. The governor, as you know, has a strong passion for agriculture and he has been sounding it clear at every forum. Ebonyi State does not have land to give out for any other thing apart from agriculture, our mainstay.

"So, the governor never said that the state would give out land for cattle colony. There was nothing like that. I was in that meeting. The position of the Ebonyi State government was that those herdsmen that were with us here over the years; some of them were even born here. Since they are living harmoniously with our people, they cannot be asked to go."

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