Oyo, Kogi clergy, oppose FG’s moves to establish colonies

Cattle

Imo Church seeks overhaul of security architecture
The Oyo State government has opposed Federal Government’s proposal to establish cattle colonies saying such colonies were strange to the state and other parts of the country.

It, however, said it is ready to support any policy that would discourage open grazing and prevent the incessant clashes between herdsmen and farmers in parts of the country.

Commissioner for Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development, Oyewole Oyewumi, said this at the weekend in Ibadan adding that the government was more disposed to ranching but would not allow roaming about of cattle.

The Federal Government had at the weekend said work would soon commence on cattle colonies in states that have indicated interest to establish them.

His words: “As a policy of the Oyo State Government today, we encouraged ranching over any other methods of cattle production and development. We have heard talks about grazing reserves and recently about what they called cattle colonies.

“They sound very strange to us, especially in the issue of cattle colonies and I think the idea is being muted by the Federal Government, so we await further explanations as to what cattle colony is.”

He said the government through his ministry currently have a bill before the state House of Assembly with the aim of regulating cattle rearing, maintaining that ranching was the only form of cattle rearing that is acceptable and known to the government.

In a related development, the Vicar in charge of the Emmanuel Anglican Church, Lokoja, Kogi State, Reverend Canon Timothy Akande, has challenged the Federal Government to clarify its special interest in cattle rearing, which was supposed to be a personal business.

Speaking against the backdrop of the proposed cattle colony for the Fulani herdsmen, which would involve tax payers money, Akande wanted to know if the colonies and the cattle would become government’s investment rather than that of individuals?

He said: “If the Government really mean to invest in the cattle colony then let us forget cocoa, cassava, cashew and face cattle as our new economic diversification area.

“Every individual engaged in any business should own its responsibility, the cattle herdsmen for which the Government is trying to fund their business is not fair as other businesses are equally important.”

Meanwhile, the Charismatic Renewal Ministries (CRM), rose from its annual Leaders Retreat yesterday at the Ministries’ headquarters in Owerri, Imo State, condemning President Muhammadu Buhari for his inability to respond promptly to the genocide in Benue and his refusal to visit communities where the killings took place.

The group also vehemently rejected Federal Government’s plans to establish Cattle Colonies in the state, arguing that the anti-grasing laws should be enacted in the states as a better remedy.

In a 12- point communique reached by the leaders of the church in the country, and read by the General Overseer of the CRM and former Imo State chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Dr. Cosmas Ilechukwu, after the retreat, the body also flayed the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, for referring to the Benue killings as communal clash between communities in the state.

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