The Oasis Reporters
January 23, 2018
While southern states are insisting that they lack enough land for their various populations, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has said his state is ready to be the pioneer testing ground for the cattle colonies being proposed by the Federal Government across the federation.
He reassured farmers and people of the state that it will be of immense benefit to farmers, citizens and residents of the state.
Governor Rochas, who stated this yesterday in Owerri in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, said the Federal Government was taking the decision as a measure to quickly curb the incessant bloody clashes between farmers and herdsmen.
The statement read: “The governor wishes to allay the fears of the citizens of Imo State, especially on ownership of communal land, that the policy is never an indirect attempt by the Federal Government to take and handover ancestral land to herdsmen.
“To ensure that everyone is carried along in this process, Imo State, through the Ministry of Agriculture, will soon be embarking on a series of stakeholders’engagement to sensitise the people, farmers, cattle breeders and other stakeholders on the implementation of the new policy.
“The traditional rulers, leaders of various communities, opinion leaders, religious leaders and the entire citizens will all be carried along in the course of the stakeholder’s engagement, so that we can collectively study the merits and demerits of the policy.
“This will enable us to jointly find solutions to the demerit and at same time improve on the merits to make it work for our state and for our people without any form of grievances.”
Continuing Rochas said: “The insinuations and speculations from various quarters across the nation kmthat the Federal Govern-ment is conspiring to take over communal land and give it to herdsmen is far from the truth.
“The planned cattle colonies is for the interest of our people; to ensure their safety, develop and boost agricultural production; in turn boost the economy and a better life for all.
“It is a Federal Government initiative and the Federal Government will fund the project, but we will need to contribute our quota to this laudable initiative at the state level by making land available for the project in Imo State and ensuring proper implementation to ensure the goal is achieved.”
Laudable indeed! Yet many agro experts insist that there’s nothing to cheer about the planned Cattle colonies in the southern states besides plotting a local government each for the Fulanis who would become southerners with all their murderous violence through their itinerant west African brethren.
“If Buhari’s plans are only economic, the cattle can be kept in the north. Drilling for water is far cheaper and easier in the north. Water can give enough grass and check desert encroachment. Let them reafforest the north. The cows will graze there”.
Another analyst added that “if push comes to shove, the Federal Government can lay pipes to carry excess water to reservoirs in the north for the benefit of grassing the north and watering cattle. After all, pipelines were laid to carry crude oil from Escravos in the coastal Delta to Kaduna in the north.
Why not excess flood water? “