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Governor Ajimobi declares no land in Oyo for cattle colony

Governor Ajimobi declares no land in Oyo for cattle colony

- Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo says the proposed cattle colony is against the principle of federal character as contained in the constitution

- Ajimobi also believes that such proposal reminds Nigerians of the colonial era

- The Alaafin of Oyo says he supports ranching, but not cattle colonies

Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo state has rejected the federal government’s proposal for states to establish cattle colonies as, according to him, it contradicts the principle of ‘federal character’ and reminds people of the colonial era in the country.

Ajimobi reportedly said this when he hosted the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, and some other traditional rulers in his office in Ibadan on Thursday, February 1.

The Nigerian Tribune reports that Ajimobi said the state would only make its land available for ranching and not cattle colony.

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He also compared cattle rearing in Nigeria with the way it is practised across the world and advised the nation to move with modern times where cattle remained in an enclosed area without indiscriminate encroachment of peoples’ lands.

“We don’t accept cattle colony in Oyo state as it is tantamount to colonisation.

"We cannot allow ourselves to be colonised and must move with time. Cattle rearing is business, so why do we have to give out land for their business? It is a pointer to the fact that federalism is not in Nigeria.

“Do we give land to those involved in poultry across the country for their business? Why then should that of those rearing cattle be different?

“South Africa and other countries that have cattle more than we do don’t allow cattle roam. In fact, allowing cattle roam deprives them of needed nutrients hence they don’t produce bountiful quantity of milk.

“Our position is to support controlled ranching, under which we will provide land and other facilities for good cattle business as well as breeding.

“Those wishing to rear cattle will use the facilities at moderate cost and they only move their cattle from the ranch to the abattoir or slaughter slabs.

“The governor is the chief security officer of the state yet he has no hold of the police. That is another problem we have with our type of federalism. Nigeria needs true federalism.

“We will keep talking about it until it materializes. It was true federalism practised in the days of Obafemi Awolowo that brought about a lot of development in the country,” Ajimobi said.

Speaking at the meeting, Oba Adeyemi said the traditional rulers supported ranching but not colonies.

“We appreciate the governor for his forthrightness on standing for the right of the downtrodden, especially the people of his state. The federal government does not own land, it belongs to the state.

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“So, if truly we are practising federalism, federal government should not be collecting Value Added Tax on businesses in Ibadan, while the state struggles to provide facilities for the same businesses.

“Our own people are not cattle rustlers. We vehemently say now that we stand against cattle colony. We support our governor on its stand on ranching and against colony,” Oba Adeyemi said.

Apart from the Alaafin, other traditional rulers who were at the meeting include the Oba of Kishi, Oba Aweda Lawal; Sabiganna of Iganna, Oba Saliu Oyemonlaa; Ona-Onibode, Oba Rasheed Anikulapo; and Olokaka of Okaka, Oba Abdulazeez Olatunji. earlier reported how the president-general of the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU), Olorogun Moses Taiga, recently asked the federal government to forget the establishment of cattle colonies as the Niger Deltan nation has no inch of land to be ceded for the purpose.

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