Kogi State has keyed into federal government Cattle Colony programme by offering 15,000 hectares of land for the pilot scheme.
The offer was made yesterday by Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello, via a written letter he presented to Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh.
Bello said the people of the state had been sensitised and educated about the policy which was a combination of many ranches and a way of stemming strifes between pastoralists and farmers.
” I am here today to inform the honorable minister that the people of Kogi State have keyed into this programme 100 per cent. We are willing and ready to pilot the programme and our people are well informed about what it is all about,” Bello said.
He said consequent upon that, the state had secured and earmarked 15,000 hectares for the take off.
The two projected cattle colonies in Kogi are Ajaokuta and Adavi Local Government Areas.
About 10,000 hectares is earmarked in Ajaokuta while 5,000 hectares is proposed for Adavi, which adjoins Edo State in the south and the state capital Lokoja in the north.
He said the local communities had willingly agreed to offer land for the project. He added that compensation process was on going as those whose lands were taken over would be adequately compensated.
He said he was now awaiting response from the authority having presented the letter of offer to the federal government.
He expressed confidence that the creation of cattle colonies in Kogi State would enhance the economic wellbeing of the people of the state and the country at large.
The governor also rejected call for the enactment of the anti -open grazing law in the state against the herdsmen, saying that no law was required for any private business.
“The common law tackles those that carry arms and not those engaged in lawful business. We don’t need any law to ban open grazing. By the time the herders and the farmers see the value chain in it, everyone will be attracted into it. We don’t need anybody to stop somebody from moving around as in the long run, roaming about with cattle is not profitable, ” Bello said.
Ogbeh, who lauded Bello for his courage, insisted that creation of colonies rather than setting up ranches was the solution to the herdsmen crisis.
He said with the population of cows in the country estimated at 19.5 million, 1,711 ranches would be required per state if there exist individuals keeping a ranch at average of 300 cows per ranch.
“This implies that 633,303 ranches will be required and that is where we will have the chaos because we can’t manage that. But if the cattle are held in a colony, the management, including water supply, fodder and cattle feed will be easier, “Ogbeh said.
He said cattle business accounts for six per cent of Nigeria’s GDP, stressing that though it is a private business, government will invest in it in same manner it has offered bail out to ailing airlines and banks.
“No one is happy that the herdsmen can enter a farm and kill the farmer. But the answer is control and organisation. If we don’t control this crisis the conflict will not stop. How many more deaths do we want? We have no intention of giving lands in the states to herdsmen to colonise. Under the arrangement, nothing says only Fulani will keep and rear cattle”, Ogbeh said.
The minister said that some of the Fulani herdsmen, recently confided in him at the Lamido of Adamawa’s palace that l they resorted to carrying arms about because of the spike in cattle rustling.
He said the herdsmen lamented that every night they lose between 200-300 cows to rouges who waylay and attack them in the night.
“In Paikonkore, Gwagwalada, we asked the herdsmen why they use guns and not sticks as is the tradition.They said when they stop at night, rustlers, kill them and make away with their cows. They said they had to buy guns to defend themselves. They said they use guns against farmers, because when the conflict comes and they find themselves along farm routes, it’s difficult to control the situation, “.
Sowore’s Re-arrest, DSS Court Invasion Reason I Rejected Soyinka Centre Award — Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has frowned at the re-arrest of Omoyele Sowore, the convener of #RevolutionNow and for this reason has rejected an award from the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism.
The Vice President who was a keynote speaker in the United Arab Emirates explained why he refused to accept the award for his achievements in the justice system of Nigeria.
In statement by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, the Vice President said in view of the developments on Friday in the Sowore case, “I think it would be insensitive and inappropriate to attend the ceremony.”
Osinbajo then went on to thanks the organizers of the event for considering him for an award.
“I am extremely grateful for the recognition and award of the “Integrity Specialty of the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism’s Anti-corruption Defender Award of 2019” to me.
“The award, I note, is for our Justice reform efforts in Lagos State. I had accepted the award with pride on behalf of the excellent Justice Sector team we had.
“However, two reasons explain my absence. First is that I am currently in Abu Dhabi for an international meeting under the auspices of the government of the UAE where I am the keynote speaker.
“Second, in view of the developments on Friday in the Sowore case, I think it would be insensitive and inappropriate to attend the ceremony.
“Please accept my heartfelt apologies and extend the same to the other members of the organizing team. God bless you,” the statement read.
The Rights Of Every Nigerian Is Guaranteed Under My Watch, Says Buhari
Amidst repression of press and alleged victimisation by secret police, President Muhammadu Buhari has reinstated the commitment of his administration to guarantee promotion and protection of human rights of every Nigerian, respect for rule of law and sanctity of human lives.
This was contained in a speech delivered by the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice Mr. Dayo Akpata who represented the President at the 2019 National Human Rights awards ceremony held in Abuja.
Akpata disclosed that President Buhari has demonstrated that he is committed to protecting the rights of every Nigerian by being part of all important international human rights instruments.
The Resident Coordinator of the United Nations Development Programme, Edward Kellon urged the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to come up with policies that would protect and secure lives of Nigerians.
DSS Conniving To Charge Sowore With Terrorism — Falana
Femi Falana (SAN), Human rights lawyer and counsel to Omoyele Sowore, has disclosed that the federal government is conniving to charge his clients with terrorism.
Falana in a statement on Monday, has revealed that the Federal government, having discovered it’s failure to prove a case of Treasonable Felony and Cyberstalking, has decided to change the charges to terrorism which will therefore give no room for bail.
The convener of the #RevolitionNow protest had been detained for several months by the Department of State Service, DSS.
He was released on bail after an ultimatum was issued by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu but thereafter rearrested in less than 24 hours inside the court premises.
The disdain act of the DSS has been considered a desperate move of the Buhari led administration to silence critics and a great dishonor to the Judiciary.
Falana said, “In comparing Sowore with the Boko Haram sect the presidency said, ‘Nigeria is already dealing with an insurgency that has left millions of people displaced and desperate in the north-east region of country. The Boko Haram militants, who are behind the violence, also fancy themselves to be fighting for some sort of revolution.’ The link is a justification for the planned arraignment of Sowore for terrorism,” Falana said.
“Since it is common knowledge that Sowore and Bakare are not among the well known merchants of violence and coup plotters that had successfully but illegally removed democratically elected governments in Nigeria we are not going to join issues with Mr. Garba Shehu over the highly contemptuous statements credited to him. But as a senior journalist Mr Shehu ought to have known that it is highly unprofessional to subject a man who is held incommunicado to scurrilous attacks in the media. We are however convinced that Sowore will have a right of reply once the fundamental rights of the Nigerian people are restored.”
“It is therefore embarrassing that the federal government which has found it difficult to prove its case in a competent court of law has resorted to the media trial of Sowore…while the charge of treasonable felony is allowed to hang menacingly on the heads of our clients,” he said.
“We are however not going to be tempted to join issues with the Presidency over a case that is pending before a properly constituted court of law. If the Presidency is so sure that our clients committed treasonable felony or any other offence whatsoever it should keep its powder dry and advise the Prosecution to commence the trial without any further delay.”