Igala nation rejects cattle colony, writes Buhari

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The Igala nation of  Kogi East Senatorial District has disagreed with Governor Yahaya Bello on the planned cattle colony in the state, arguing that the activities of herdsmen in that part of the state over the years have left them with “pain, anguish and tragic deaths.”

In a letter written on behalf of the Igala nation by Uk’Omu Igala Oganisation and signed by its National Leader, Major General Patrick Akpa (rtd) and National Secretary, Malam Ahmed Hussain, the group said a cattle colony in Kogi East Senatorial District would be incompatible with the agricultural activities of the Igala people.

Uk’Omu Igala Organisation produced a long list of instances in which killer Fulani herdsmen attacked farmers in several local governments in Kogi East, and argued that  “when unarmed farmers attempt to call the herders to order, the latter, who are usually armed with dangerous weapons, have them [farmers] butchered or mauled in cold blood.”

The letter asked the state government to enact a law that would compel all herders to set up ranches which would restrict the movement of herds of cattle and prevent clashes between herders and farmers.

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The group descried the decision of Governor Yahaya to grant indigeneship to Fulani in Kogi State and compel the traditional councils to include Fulani herders  as members of the councils, saying it is an act of “selling our heritage and birthright to fuel his [governor’s] political ambition.”

It argued further that, “we have several other ethnic communities from other parts of Nigeria living and doing businesses in Kogi State for decades. Why is the governor making a special deal for cattle herders in Kogi State?”

On the advertised support of local government administrators in Kogi State for the cattle colony, the Igala nation said such action was influenced by the administrators’ selfish interest. The letter said, “They [administrators] are not, in any way, elected representatives of the people of Kogi State. They are lackeys of Governor Yahaya Bello. We call on the Presidency, all Nigerians and the good people of Kogi State to disregard the ill-informed and self-serving advertorial by Kogi ALGON on this subject-matter.”

The Uk’Omu Igala Organisation called on President Buhari to reciprocate the support of the Igala nation to his government by citing Federal Government projects in Kogi East Senatorial District.

It said, “To contribute to the national economy, particularly in the area of food production, the Kogi East Senatorial District needs small scale industries to process cashew products, palm produce, cassava and yam production. This will reflect the occupation of the vast majority living in Igala land and contribute to the well-being of the people. The Igala people are mainly involved in crop farming. As a result of the growing population, there is already tremendous pressure on productive land.”

Copies of the letter were sent to the Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Governor Yahaya Bello, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, and member of the Kogi State Traditional Council.

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