Oyo State governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has advised the federal government against the planned establishment of cattle colonies across the country, saying the move is tantamount to modern slavery.
The governor made his position known on the raging matter during a visit by the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, who led some prominent traditional rulers to the Government House, Ibadan.
The Alaafin of Oyo, who shared similar sentiments with the governor on the matter, also said that the idea is ill-advised and unacceptable to the people of Oyo kingdom.
The governor advocated true federalism as solution to the national question, stressing that the proposal to states to make land available for the establishment of cattle colonies is against the letter and spirit of true federalism that vested ownership and control of land on states.
According to him, the proposed cattle colony was a disguised slavery similar to the long-forgotten colonization that Africa still rues till date.
Instead, the governor said that the state was prepared for a controlled ranching that would be established by the state government, which would have all the required modern facilities for good cattle breeding and ancillary services.
This, he said, would be at minimal cost to whosoever that wishes to make use of the facility, but would end the regime of open grazing.
Ajimobi said, “Cattle colony is tantamount to modern slavery, because colony is synonymous with colonization. We cannot have that in Oyo State. It is a pointer to the fact that federalism is not working in Nigeria.
“If poultry farmers or owners of piggeries, among others, are not being offered colonies for their own livestock, why should herdsmen be a survival category.
“Our position is to support controlled ranching, under which we will provide land and other basic modern facilities for good cattle business as well as breeding. Those wishing to rear cattle will use the facilities at moderate cost. No more, no less.”
“You will say that the governor is the Chief Security Officer of his state, but he has no control over the police. That is another problem we have with our type of federalism. Another example is about those digging for treasures in our communities but collect licenses from the federal government.
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