We’ll resist allocation of land for ranching in Edo, PDP vows
•Tells FG to delist state from pilot scheme
• Bishop tasks Buhari on disarming of herders
The Edo chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said it would resist any attempt to cede any parcel of land for cattle ranches in the state.State Party Chairman, Chief Dan Orbih, stated this in Benin City while receiving hundreds of All Progressives Congress (APC) and Labour Party (LP) defectors from Oredo, Egor, Igueben and Orhionwmon council areas.
The PDP chair, who urged the state and federal governments to exclude Edo from the pilot scheme for cattle ranches, stated: “Edo people and the PDP will resist any attempt to cede an inch of land for the purpose of cattle ranches in the state.”
Orbih said any move to force the people to surrender their land to herdsmen for grazing would be stiffly resisted, adding that the party had been mandated by Edo people to inform President Muhammadu Buhari to delist the state from the pilot project.His words: “I don’t think it will be possible for anyone from Edo to go to any state in the north, take over their irrigated land and start rearing pigs.
“On no condition must Edo State concede land to anybody under any guise. We have been mandated by the people to inform President Buhari to delist Edo as one of the states earmarked to commence his pilot scheme for cattle ranching. He should replace Edo with his home state of Katsina.”However, the Bishop of Akure Diocese of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Rt. Revd. Simeon Borokinni, has urged the Federal Government to disarm the rampaging herders to contain their deadly activities.
He made the call and condemned the indiscriminate killings by the nomads nationwide during the third session of the 12th Synod at St Thomas Anglican Church, Akure with the theme, Working towards perfection.
The cleric lamented that “government appears either powerless to curb their activities or deliberately, purposely and intentionally indifferent,” recounting that government had dealt with such deadly groups in the past. He said: “Why is dealing with the herdsmen a difficult task for the government? This is a question that is making Nigerians lose confidence in the present federal administration.
“Government must disarm these murderous herdsmen. It should therefore not be allowed to degenerate any further in the interest of all.”Referring to the communiqué earlier issued by the Standing Committee which asked the president to stop the killings, Borokinni added that cattle colony was a grave injustice and corruption of the highest order.
He argued that the move treats a set of people with unwarranted special preference and makes them indigenes of all regions of the country, stating that cattle rearing is a private business whose profits are neither shared with government nor land owners. Moreover, the cleric noted that the explosive increase in population has made land inadequate for the natives, advising that ranches should be built in herdsmen’s localities for modern animal husbandry.
He stated: “Nobody’s land should be given to another person under any guise. It will be grave injustice and corruption of the highest order to spend tax payers’ money on the private business of a set of people.”The cleric, who described the problem of the Fulani herdsmen as a nationwide menace, supported the outcry, maintaining that “cattle ranching is not welcomed in Ondo State.”