The Igala socio-cultural group, Uk’Omu Igala Organisation has warned Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello not to donate any land from the state for proposed cattle colonies.
The group lamented in a press release, that marauding Fulani herdsmen has caused the Igala people “pain, anguish and tragic deaths.”
The group, in an open letter signed by its National Leader, Major General Patrick Akpa (rtd) and National Secretary, Malam Ahmed Hussain and addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari stated that the planned cattle colony in Kogi East Senatorial District would be incompatible with the agricultural activities of the Igala people.
Uk’Omu Igala Organisation highlighted instances of killer Fulani herdsmen attacks on innocent farmers to buttress its rejection of the planned cattle colony and stated that “when unarmed farmers attempt to call the herders to order, the latter, who are usually armed with dangerous weapons, have them [farmers] butchered or mauled in cold blood.”
In the letter, which was also sent to the Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Governor Yahaya Bello, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, and member of the Kogi State Traditional Council, the group demanded that the state government enact a law that would compel all herders to set up ranches which would restrict the movement of herds of cattle and prevent clashes between herders and farmers.
It said it was tantamount to “selling our heritage and birth right to fuel his [governor’s] political ambition” the decision of Governor Yahaya to grant indigene ship to Fulani in Kogi State and compel the traditional councils to include Fulani herders as members of the councils.
“We have several other ethnic communities from other parts of Nigeria living and doing businesses in Kogi State for decades. Why is the governor making a special deal for cattle herders in Kogi State?”
It further stated that: “They [administrators] are not, in any way, elected representatives of the people of Kogi State. They are lackeys of Governor Yahaya Bello. We call on the Presidency, all Nigerians and the good people of Kogi State to disregard the ill-informed and self-serving advertorial by Kogi ALGON on this subject-matter.”
Uk’Omu Igala Organisation called on President Buhari to reciprocate the support of the Igala nation to his government by citing Federal Government projects in Kogi East Senatorial District.
“To contribute to the national economy, particularly in the area of food production, the Kogi East Senatorial District needs small scale industries to process cashew products, palm produce, cassava and yam production. This will reflect the occupation of the vast majority living in Igala land and contribute to the well-being of the people. The Igala people are mainly involved in crop farming. As a result of the growing population, there is already tremendous pressure on productive land.”