Nine Igala LGAs reject cattle colony in Kogi state

Igala people at a recent public gathering (PHOTO: Gabriel Enemali Okanyi)

Demand justice for slain victims of fulani massacre in Igala land

Project Igala, a think- tank of Nigerian intelligentsia of Igala extraction has said that any attempt to convert or transfer the ownership of ancestral land in Igala land would be resisted.

In a petition to President Muhammadu Buhari, and copied the Senate President, Speaker House of Reps, Kogi State Governor and His Royal Majesty, the Attah Igala and others, the group said the people reject in its entirety, attempts to turn Igala land into the next killing field of marauding Fulani herdsmen.

“Our vehement opposition to this move is predicated on the fact that it all eventually lead to break down of law and order with killings and wanton destruction of properties as our people are not prepared to host Fulani herdsmen or cattle colony master in our land.

“Our opposition further reinforced by the multiple act of war and mayhem being unleashed daily on our farmers and hapless law-abiding citizens in their villages, homes and farm lands by rampaging Fulani herdsmen”, the group emphasized.

It said it was unfortunate to note that despite the brazen nature of the criminality by these would-be of the occupants of the “so called” cattle colony, none of them has been arrested or made to account for these crimes.

Furthermore, according to the group, the hasty approval given by the Kogi State Governor further reinforced by the inescapable fact that under the presidency, murderous Fulani herdsmen have enjoyed subtle protection and favouritism to the extent that these herdsmen now treat Nigeria as a conquered territory.

Here is a full copy of the petition:

Petition to:

The President and Commander in Chief, Federal Republic of Nigeria

Copy:

The Senate House, Federal Republic of Nigeria

Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives

The Honourable Minister of Agriculture

The Governor of Kogi state

Kogi-East Representatives at the National Assembly

The Chairman, Igala Area Traditional Council

Attention: His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari

Your Excellency

WE REJECT CATTLE COLONY IN IGALA LAND

Following the recent declaration by your Agriculture Minister, Chief Audu Ogbeh on the establishment of ‘cattle colonies’ across Nigeria, as the only solution to the protracted clash between Fulani herdsmen and farmers; and the request from the Kogi State Governor Alh Yahaya Bello to have Kogi designated as the pioneer state to host a cattle colony, we the Igala people of Kogi-East cutting across nine LGAs namely Ankpa, Bassa, Dekina, Ibaji, Idah, Igalamela/Odolu, Ofu, Olamaboro and Omala LGAs write to dissociate ourselves and our area from the purported plan to situate any cattle colony in our land.

We wish to state that our vehement opposition to this move is predicated on the fact that it will eventually lead to breakdown of law and order with killings and wanton destruction of property, as our people, who are largely farmers, are not prepared to host Fulani herdsmen or cattle colony masters in our land.

Our position is further reinforced by the multiple acts of war and mayhem being unleashed daily, on our innocent farmers and hapless law-abiding citizens, in their villages, homes and farm lands, by rampaging Fulani herdsmen.

Mr. President, between June 2015 and December 2017, Igala land has witnessed several incidences of killings as a result of herdsmen violence in several areas including Ebeje where 8 people were killed and farms set ablaze, Agbada/Agojeju where 19 people were slaughtered, Edede – 2 persons were killed, 6 people killed in Oganenigu, 3 people killed in Ojapata, 5 people killed in Ojuwo Anawo. All these happened in Dekina Local Government Area.

The story is not different in Ofu local government area at Ojuwo Omachi and Akpagidigbo where the incessant attacks of herdsmen have claimed the lives of over 20 persons. In Abejukolo and Bagana in Omala Local Government Area, the reign of terror resonates loudly, so much that our people no longer move freely, to and from their farm lands, because of the fear of killings, maiming and rape, with some villages like Ebakume wholly sacked and entire farm produce granaries/silos completely burnt.

Despite the brazen nature of the aforementioned acts of criminality by these would-be occupants of the so-called cattle colony, none of them has been arrested or made to account for these crimes, as these heavily armed cattle herders terrorise our land, flaunting their prowess in the handling of AK 47 rifles and double barrel guns.

Dear Mr President, our opposition to this move and the hasty approval given by the Kogi State Governor is further reinforced by the inescapable fact that under your Presidency, murderous Fulani herdsmen have enjoyed subtle protection and favouritism to the extent that these herdsmen, who now treat Nigeria as a conquered territory, will eventually go beyond the purview of the so-called colony to destroy farmlands, maim and kill under the slightest provocation.

In view of the above and many more, we the undersigned concerned people of Kogi-East, Kogi State, North-Central, Nigeria state as follows:

  • We do not want cattle colony or grazing reserve in our land
  • We reject any attempt to convert or transfer the ownership of ancestral lands in Igala land to cattle colony master or owners who operate by killing people, destroying communities wholesale, and destroying farmlands while enjoying government protection from counter attack, arrest or prosecution.
  • We reject attempts to turn Igala land into the next killing field of marauding Fulani herdsmen
  • We demand justice for our kith and kin slaughtered by Fulani herdsmen in Ebeje, Agbada/Agojeju, Edede, Oganenigu, Ojapata, Ojuwo Anawo, Ojuwo Omachi, Akpagidigbo, Abejukolo, Bagana and Ebakume

 

 

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