Bayo Oyewale ,Lokoja
The Okun Development Association (ODA), has expressed worries over the decision of the State Government to create cattle colonies in the different parts of the State.
The group also called on the Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, to have a rethink of his blanket invitation on the Fulani from all parts to make the state their home.
Apart from the fact that Governor Bello has signified the state’s readiness to pioneer the cattle colony initiative of the Federal Government, the 21 local government sole administrators in the state have joined in the open invitation, calling on Fulani herdsmen to make Kogi their home.
The ODA which serves as the umbrella body of the Okun Yoruba-speaking people of Kogi West, have however cautioned the governor and his appointees to thread with caution on the highly sensitive issue.
The group in a statement, a copy of which was made available to journalists in Lokoja advised the governor to always seek wide consultation on such matters, in order that peaceful co-existence be preserved in Okun land.
Recommending what they described as a lasting, win-win, peaceful solution to the Fulani herdsmen and the much talked about cattle colony initiative, they explained that the area has always been peaceful and receptive of visitors, including the Fulani, but not in the mode of their present posturing.
They stated that after a meeting of critical stakeholders from the area, last Saturday, and haven examined the position of the government, beckoning on the herdsmen from other parts of the country to come to Kogi, and constraining the sole administrators to accommodate them administratively, including order that the be issued certificate of indigeneship.
They expressed deep worry over the development, and called on the governor to have a second look, “in the interest of the people of the state”.