Yoruba Youth Socio-cultural group, Igbimo Odo Yoruba have vowed to vehemently resist, any attempt by the Federal government, to introduce what it termed ‘Cattle Colonies’ in any part of the Southwest, and other Yoruba speaking parts of the country.
The group in a statement by its leader, Comrade Olufemi Lawson said the position of Yoruba Youth, is in reaction to a statement credited to the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, who hinted about the readiness of the federal government, to establish cattle colonies in states across the country to curb increasing cases of clashes between farmers and herdsmen.
The group says it will use every legitimate means within its reach, to resist the creation of Cattle colonies, which it described as another attempt, to recolonise Nigerians, particularly the people of the Southern part of the country.
“It is absolutely sad, that at this age and time in our history as a people, certain persons will resort to arbitrary use of state power, to grab the ancestral lands of our people, in order to reward a minute but violent group of herdsmen, who have continually assaulted, molest and violate the right to life, of innocent Nigerians, across the country, without any concrete action, to checkmate their excesses, by the Federal government”
The group further said it is alarmed by the ‘insensitive’ position of the Federal government, coming at the very moment, when several states are counting their losses, particularly of human life, as a result of attacks on innocent farmers, women and young children, by the Fulani Herdsmen.
“We cannot continue to overlook the humongous disasters that these herdsmen have continued to wrought on our communities, leading to loss of means of livelihood, assault on our women and loss of lives. Sadly, all these atrocities have not been enough to attract any concrete action from the federal government, neither have they resulted into the arrest or prosecution of the perpetrators of these crimes and their sponsors. What we have witnessed instead, is the audacity of these elements, to claim responsibility for their crimes and even make media appearances to justify their actions, against armless people, who are being maimed endlessly by these gang of Herdsmen.” the statement read.
“While we want to specially commend Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, for the radical approach of his government, towards tackling the menace of these Fulani Herdsmen in Ekiti state, we wish to seriously warn other Governors of the Southwest, that any attempt by them, to conspire with the proponents of the ‘Cattle Colonies’ whose main agenda is to unjustly grab our lands out of our possession, shall be resisted by our generation and generations to come.
The group also advised the Federal government, that rather than proposing the establishment of Cattle colonies, which is seen as a colonial, anti people land grabbing strategy, the government should first take decisive actions by bringing to justice, all perpetrators of violence hiding under farmers/Herdsmen clashes without further delay. It also urged the Federal government, to stop looking too far, in finding a lasting solution to issues of Grazing in the country, as practicable solutions, have already been proffered through various recommendations of the past. Most recent, as contained in the recommendations of the 2014 National Conference.