The people of Oke-Ogun geo-political zone of Oyo State on Monday rejected the establishment of cattle ranches being proposed by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in Oyo state.
This was made known via a statement signed by Comrade Jare Ajayi, Spokesman of Oke-Ogun Council of Elders (OCE), made available to pressmen.
OCE while calling on the federal government to have a change of mind on its recent decision to create cattle ranches in the country added that “The people of Oke-Ogun in Oyo State reject it in all its ramifications. Given the discord and possible bloodshed that such a proposition is likely to cause, the government ought not to contemplate it at all. Oke-Ogun also expressed regret that Oyo State is among ten states where the pilot ranches will begin. It called on the Oyo State government to reject the idea completely.
“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.”
OCE in the statement also “expressed surprise that the federal government that admitted the loss of lives and as much as about $14 billion (₦5.04 trillion) annually to herdsmen/farmers-related conflicts could still go ahead to think of this obnoxious project rather than finding a lasting solution to the problem”.
They added that, “The lasting solution advocated is to ban open grazing of livestock and to encourage livestock farmers to embrace modern ways of rearing animals which is ranching. But this has to be by private arrangement and not something that would be created for livestock farmers by the government.
OCE maintained that the project “will create far greater problems than it will solve”.
OCE asked the governor to stand by this position saying, “What has changed between 2016 when this statement was made and now? If anything, there are more cogent reasons now not to accommodate the kind of grazing zones or ranches being proposed by the federal government.
“In any case both the federal and Oyo State governments should know that there is no land of any size in Oke ogun for the kind of ranches being proposed. We cannot allow ourselves to be run over”.