The House of Representatives member representing Zangon Kataf/Jaba federal constituency, Barr Sunday Marshall Katung has rejected any attempt to establish cattle colonies in Southern Kaduna.
He said, in a statement that the people of his constituency and the entire Southern Kaduna people have since rejected any plot by the state government to donate any of its ancestral land to an individual or group to undertake a private business.
“Let me use this medium to inform the federal and Kaduna State governments that my constituents and the entire people of Southern Kaduna have rejected the idea of establishing cattle colony in our area.
“We are of the firm belief that cattle rearing is a private business, just like poultry, fishery and piggery business,” he said.
According to him, “Having consulted with my constituents, whom I represent, we are of the opinion that confiscating land for cattle colony is not in tandem with the Land Use Act which posits that government can only take over land for the overriding public interest.
“We admonish in strong terms that our soil, land, water and air should not be used for cattle colonies.
“Cattle rearers should be encouraged to acquire land for their business and not the government using force to collect our ancestral land to give the nomads.”
The lawmaker said it has been widely reported that Kaduna State is amongst the 16 states that have embraced cattle colonies, hence the need to inform the government that his people are opposed to the issue.
“While we have no objection with the decision of the governor, we hasten to state that this business is not the choosing of our people nor in their best interest arising from the frequent clashes and attendant loss of lives of our people by the practitioners of this trade. Hence, it is our considered opinion that this business and the said colonies be restricted to the confines of the practitioners in the interest of equity and peaceful co-existence.
“While our people are not supportive of the establishment of cattle colonies which is an alien trade, their known vocation and trade is farming and piggery.
“As a representative of the people and on behalf of my constituents, we admonish in strong terms that our soil, land, water and air should not be used for cattle colonies.
“Our people have therefore vowed to resist the establishment of any cattle colony within our domain and will employ any peaceful means to resist it.
“However, if the executive governor in pursuit of his oath of office wants to equitably balance matters he may well establish a cattle colony in the northern part of the state and a piggery colony in the southern part knowing that our commonwealth and resources will necessarily be deployed towards such a venture. Anything to the contrary will be viewed as an attempt to provoke and destabilise the peace of Southern Kaduna,” he said.