Omoniyi Salaudeen Tony Osauzo, Benin
Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused Governor Godwin Obaseki of being the brain behind the establishment of cattle colonies across the country.
The PDP alleged that the governor sold the idea to the Federal Government after Edo lawmakers refused to pass the bill for land to be given to herdsmen in the state.
Addressing party supporters in Akoko-Edo and Estako West local government areas as part of ‘meet the people tour’ by the PDP, the state Chairman, Chief Dan Orbih, said other APC governors had kicked and spoken against creation of cattle colony in their states but Obaseki remained silent.
But, in a swift reaction, Special Adviser to Governor Obaseki on Communication and Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, said no land has been approved for the establishment of cattle colonies in the state.
He described the PDP’s claim as tissues of lies and attempts to smear the rising profile and image of the Obaseki administration. Osagie reiterated that no agreement has been entered into for cattle colonies to be established in any part of the state.
According to him, it would amount to sheer mischief to blame Obaseki for the nation’s security challenges when the security apparatus are controlled by the federal government.
“Only a hopeless party like the PDP tells such barefaced, blatant and brazen lies because it has no issues to bring to the table.
“It is also not true that the Edo State Government is not doing anything about the activities of the Fulani herdsmen in Edo North,” Osagie said.
He explained that the Edo state government is working to attend to the needs of Edo people and residents in the state, including the protection of lives and property and will not be distracted by the false and bogus claims of the bandits who ruined Edo state when they were in power.
In another development, President General of the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU), Olorogun Moses Oghenerume Taiga, has declared that Urhobo people will not cede a single inch of their land to the Federal Government for the proposed cattle colony.
He made the declaration yesterday at a press briefing in his Lagos, adding that cattle grazing is a private business and should be treated as such.
His words: “I want to use this opportunity to inform the federal government that Urhobo nation is against the proposed ‘cattle colony’ and the Urhobo will not cede an inch of their land for the purpose of establishing a ‘cattle colony’. Cattle rearing is a private matter and individuals should make their private arrangement, just as crop farmers do in that regard.”
He also called on the federal government to urgently intervene to curtail incessant killings of Urhobo people by Fulani herdsmen, and noted that the unprovoked attacks had made it difficult for farmers to continue legitimate farming activities on their own land.