Oke Ogun community rejects plan by FG to create cattle ranches

Oyo state governor, Abiola Ajimobi

• Ex-speaker cautions Oyo gov against allotting land for project
• Political party tasks UN, AU, others on killings

Oke Ogun Council of Elders (OCE) in Oyo State has called on the Federal Government to shelve the idea of cattle ranches in the country, stating that their people reject the project in all its ramifications.

A statement by the organisation’s spokesman, Comrade Jare Ajayi, said given the discord and possible bloodshed the proposition was likely to cause, the government ought not to contemplate it at all.

It regretted that Oyo was among the 10 beneficiaries where the pilot ranches would begin, asking the state government to “reject the idea completely”

Ajayi said: “This is in sharp contrast to the promise made by Governor Abiola Ajimobi on April 26, 2016 while speaking during the launch of the ‘AgricOyo,’ the state’s agriculture initiative held at Paago, Iseyin, in Oke Ogun zone of the state.”

The position followed the announcement last Tuesday by the Federal Government that it will create 94 ranches in 10 pilot states under the National Livestock Implementation Plan.

The Oke Ogun people also took cognisance of the remarks credited to the Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Oyewumi, insinuating that the ranch that was coming to the state would be located in the northern part, their area.

Ajayi expressed surprise that the same government that admitted the loss of lives and $14 billion (₦5.04 trillion) yearly to herdsmen/farmers conflicts “could still go ahead to think of this obnoxious project rather than finding a lasting solution to the problem.”

However, the former speaker of the state House of Assembly, Dr. Akin Onigbinde (SAN), has cautioned Governor Abiola Ajimobi against allotting land for the project.

Speaking yesterday in Ibadan, he advised such decision should not be taken without wide consultations with the lawmakers and relevant stakeholders.

According to Onigbinde, the domestication of ranches in parts of the federation was one of the reasons why many Nigerians have been calling for the restructuring of the country.

The ex-speaker pointed out that when the country is eventually restructured, every state would be able to develop at its pace and security of lives and property better managed.

The Alliance for Democracy (AD) chieftain advised government at all levels to always think through problems instead of frittering away scarce resources.

Also yesterday, the National Action Council (NAC) appealed to United Nations (UN), African Union (AU) and other international organisations to help end the nationwide killings.

Its National Chairman, Dr Olapade Agoro, at a press conference in Ibadan, described the recent Plateau as “a clear indication that the Federal Government has failed in securing lives and property of Nigerians.”

He said the invitation to the international agencies has become necessary because “Nigeria is under siege.”

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