Niger Delta rejects cattle colonies
The Niger Delta leaders under the auspices of the Pan Niger Delta Forum have rejected the proposed plans by the Federal Government to set up cattle colonies across the country as parts of ongoing efforts to end incessant clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers.
Rising from an emergency meeting on Thursday held at the Kiagbodo country-home of Chief Edwin Clark in Burutu council area of Delta State, the leaders drawn from the six states of the N’Delta told the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government that people of the oil-rich region would not release any piece of land to the government for such purpose.
A communiqué issued at the end of the six-hour meeting which was signed by PANDEF convener, Clark, and read by one of its leaders, Chief Olivia Agbajoh, urged the Federal Government to treat the business of animal husbandry in the country as a commercial activity.
It read, “The people of the Niger Delta expressed solidarity with the people of Benue State and other parts of the country where communities have suffered untold menace and brutality in the hands of Fulani herdsmen.
“We rejected the idea of setting up cattle colonies around the country and advised the Federal Government to handle this sensitive matter with tact and treat the issue of animal husbandry as commercial transaction which should be left in the hands of relevant stakeholders.
“PANDEF emphasises that no Niger Delta land will be available for such cattle colonies”
While reacting to the recent threat by the Niger Delta Avengers to resume hostilities, the leaders appealed to the NDA and others militant groups to exercise patience while PANDEF “continues to engage the Federal Government on meeting the demands and developmental agitation of the region in earnest.”
The group also noted the slow pace on the effective take off “of the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State, and the silence over the upgrading of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, to a Federal University of Maritime Studies.”
The Niger Delta leaders also announced the plan to hold a mega rally on restructuring on March 24, 2018 at the Samson Siasia Stadium in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, to garner more support for the restructuring of the Nigerian state.
It said the rally would be attended by prominent Nigerians including Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Chief Olu Falae, President-General of Ohanaeze, Chief NniaNwodo; Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife; Dr. Bala Takaya; and a former governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang.