The Abia state Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, has rejected the federal government’s plan to set up cattle colonies for cattle breeders in the state.
The Governor, in a press release by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Enyinnaya Appolos, stated that the state will not cede any part of its territory to Fulani cattle breeders for the federal government’s planned cattle colony.
According to the statement, the Governor said; “we reject any plan to establish cattle colonies for herdsmen in Abia State.
“We don’t have enough land for our agricultural activities and our people want more land.
“Giving away any part of Abia land as a colony to herdsmen, wherever they may be from, will be most unjust and unfair treatment to Abia State and her people who are largely farmers.
“Such alien land occupation will also cause unrest and crisis that may grow beyond what we can handle when it happens, so the best thing I think we should do is to reject such plans so that those behind it will know that Abia State is not party to it.”
The federal government, through the Minister of Agriculture had suggested the setting up of cattle colonies across the 36 states of the federation as a measure to put to an end the Herdsmen-Famers clash.
The minister, Chief Audu Ogbe, said that cattle colonies will help the government resolve the issue of killings between farmers and herdsmen.
This, was as a result of reactions following the killing of not less than 75 persons in Gumi local governments by the Fulani Herdsmen.
The Minister said that the cattle colonies when properly set up, will allow cattle breeders concentrate at a given place instead of wandering into locations that might cause clashes.
More states are expected to reject the Federal government’s plan.