The Yoruba Council of Elders, YCE, have kicked against the proposed establishment of cattle colony in any party of Yoruba land.
The rejection of cattle colonies was made known after a meeting of the elders in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital where they discussed critical national issues.
The YCE also criticised some northern governors for endorsing President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term about 24 hours after the mass killing of innocent Nigerians allegedly by Fulani herdsmen.
The group’s President General, Chief Idowu Shofola, addressed news men following a three-hour meeting on the state-of-the-nation by the council.
Shofola said: “We don’t subscribe to the idea of cattle colony. We feel that cattle rearing and farming are businesses. If you want to go into a business, you will provide the needs for yourself. You don’t need the government to do it for you.
“Whatever business you want to do, you have to provide the money, either you have it or you go for loan from a bank, or you look for a big brother to help you out or whatever.”
He expressly noted that as evident in the constitution, the land “does not belong to the Federal Government. It belongs to the state under our law. Therefore, the federal government cannot just come to any part of Nigeria and say this land is this or that.
“We do not think it is necessary for anybody or herdsmen to come and do whatever they like. Let them go to the government there, buy or lease land in terms agreeable to both sides at their own expense.”
The council Secretary, General, Dr. Kunle Olajide, also added, “YCE rejects cattle colony and grazing reserves as a solution to this problem. YCE believes strongly that the beginning of solutions to this problem is restructuring.
Speaking on restructuring the nation, the Yoruba elders advised President Muhammadu Buhari on angles to focus on.
“Once the country is effectively restructured, foreigners will even come to Nigeria to do business. It is not the government that provides them with facilities. So, once the country is effectively restructured, it will take care of all these anomalies.
“If the government is advocating we should all go back to agriculture and then goes on encouraging a section of the country to go with cows and ravage farmlands and farm crops, you can see a contradiction, and that is a paradox. YCE rejects, in totality, cattle colony and grazing reserves.
“Three weeks after gruesome murder, no arrest has been made. YCE is alarmed that the leadership of an association, Myetti Allah (an umbrella body of Fulani herdsmen), who had openly been issuing threats have not been questioned. The kid glove treatment of Myetti Allah speaks volume about the neutrality of the presidency on this matter.
“YCE is also disturbed by the apparent insensitivity of some political leaders to the current worrisome situation in the country. Barely 24 hours, after the gruesome murder in Benue State, a group of governors appeared on national television endorsing President Buhari for 2019 election, in violation of regulations of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).”