Yoruba leaders in the South-West geopolitical zone, under the aegis of the Yoruba Summit, on Thursday opposed the establishment of cattle colonies proposed by the Federal Government.
The leaders expressed their opposition to the colonies during an extra-ordinary session of the summit held in Lagos on Thursday against the backdrop of the recent attacks by herdsmen in the region.
In a communiqué issued after the summit, the leaders argued that the establishment of colonies would offend the sensibilities of different nationalities whose lands would be acquired, adding that it would be a repeat of the Berlin Conference where European powers partitioned Africa.
The communiqué was signed by the National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin.
The leaders resolved that “no inch of Yorubaland” would be surrendered to cattle colonies.
An Afenifere chief, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, chaired the meeting, which was attended by Prof. Banji Akintoye, Dr Amos Akingba, Dr Kunle Olajide, Senator Femi Okurounmu and Dr Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosumu.
Others at the summit are a former governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko; former deputy governor of Lagos State, Senator Kofo Bucknor-Akerele; Goke Omisore; Chief Supo Sonibare; Dr Femi Adegoke; Oladipo Olaitan; Otunba Deji Osibogun; Tokunbo Ekukinam; and Bolaji Ogunseye.
They lamented the setting ablaze and destruction of the farmlands belonging to a former secretary to the Federal Government, Chief Olu Falae; ex-Naval Chief, Vice-Admiral Samuel Afolayan; former secretary to the Oyo State Government, Dele Adigun; and Roseline Ogege.
The communiqué read, “The meeting resolved that no inch of Yorubaland will be available for cow colony as Yoruba are in favour of only ranching of cattle where those in such business will acquire land according to the extant rules and subject their operations to the norms and culture of their host communities.
“We also called on Yoruba people to begin venturing into modern ranching for home consumption and export while our state governments should evolve policies in promotion of ranching by the Yoruba people.
The meeting made these demands to bring an end to the threats constituted by the Fulani herdsmen to law and order, security and peace in Nigeria and to return the country to the conditions of modern governance.”
It added, “These renewed attacks on Yoruba property and persons were considered unwarranted, provocative and brutal assault by marauding elements, who now carry on as if the laws of the country have been suspended on their behalf by complicit authorities.
“The meeting condemned these assaults and called on the Federal Government to be alive to its responsibility by enforcing the laws against these criminal activities and perpetrators of such in order to regain the confidence of the people.
“The meeting made these demands to bring an end to the threats constituted by the Fulani herdsmen to law and order, security and peace in Nigeria and return the county to the conditions of modern governance.”