The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Kogi State has flayed Governor Yahaya Bello for buying wholesale into the cattle colony policy of the Federal Government without allegedly consulting widely.
In a statement in Lokoja, the state party publicity secretary, Bode Ogunmola, queried why the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) administration offered land for the project that had allegedly been opposed by states, including those where the party holds sway.
He said the PDP has been following the debate on the policy since the unfortunate New Year Day massacre of over 70 villagers in Benue State by suspected herdsmen.
His words: “Not surprisingly, most states, many of which are governed by the APC rejected the idea. But, without the needed consultation, Governor Yahaya Bello eagerly and enthusiastically welcomed it.
“As we speak, truckloads of the herdsmen have started arriving our communities.
“Three trailer loads of herdsmen arrived Aghara, a small community in Kabba-Bunu Local Government.”
Ogunmola claimed that the new arrivals came with a letter directing the traditional ruler of the village to receive them without opposition.
He alleged that this party had received similar reports from other parts, adding that that state was under siege.
The spokesman decried the high security risks and long-term implications.
He went on: “We reject the evil scheme in totality and therefore demand its immediate reversal. Farming is the mainstay of our economy. We cannot submit our collective patrimony or donate our God-given land to herdsmen, who at best, are private businessmen.
“We are saying it loud and clear that cattle colony is a satanic policy. Kogi people reject it.”
But the Director General, Bureau of Information Services and Grassroots Sensitisation, Abdulkarim Abdulmalik, said those opposing the idea were acting out of ignorance.
He maintained that cattle colonies would check criminal activities and frequent clashes between herdsmen and farmers nationwide.
The governor’s aide said the establishment of cattle colonies in the state would help government to effectively monitor the activities of herdsmen, as their operations would be restricted to a particular location.