Cattle Colony: One Among Many of Governor Yahaya Bello’s Policy Fault Lines

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When Governor Yahaya Bello revealed his intention to pioneer the establishment of cattle colony in Kogi State early January,  2018, I saw a governor that completely lacked understanding of governance; one who was bereft of ideas.  I saw a man who is upbeat in first class deception, and who value fake fraternity with powers that be to the detriment of the people he governs. In Africa continent,  no leader worth his calling would deliberately put up a policy to bring anarchy to his doorstep as Alhaji Yahaya Bello of Kogi State did. 

The governor did not see the many opportunities available at home and in diaspora to boost the economy of Kogi State, but cattle colony?

To make the cattle colony look genuine he stated that, “about 100,000 direct and indirect job opportunities would be created.”

The governor further said: “apart from making the people live harmoniously with each other, the state would within a short time become a hub of economic activities that attracts local and foreign investors.”

More appalling was the statement that within two months of commencement, there would be a capital inflow of N5 billion into the state coffer.

The governor obviously didn’t realise the fact that Fulani are pastoral herders who have rejected the idea of cattle ranching in the first place. The statement was made through their socio-cultural umbrella –  Miyetti Allah. They are highly mobile with expansionist tendencies.  

The issue is,  in whose interest was the policy of cattle colony? Certainly not in the interest of Kogites. Though, brutish and iniquitous, the cattle ranching policy was to the admiration of sycophants, but to any rational being,  it triggers a high level of insecurity, given the fact that Fulani herdsmen are violent by nature, who goes about fully armed with dangerous weapons.

The state government was said to have issued certificate of Occupancy to herders who are now emboldened to attack.

Questions begging for answers are,  after a year, does the enjoy 100,000 direct and indirect job opportunities now?

Secondly,  does the state enjoy capital inflow of N2 billion every two months; thirdly is there harmony between herders and farmers as we speak in Kogi State?

Fulani herders are daily killing and maiming innocent citizens. Most of killings going on in the State are under reported.

More worrisome, therefore,  was the governor’s concern for alleged killing of 15 Fulani herdsmen where he tasked four traditional rulers and local government administrators to produce killers or risked removal from offices.

Ironically, as Chief security officer of the state, he has not shown concern on wanton destruction of lives and properties in the state.

There were more attacks on vulnerable communities across the state in the last three years by Fulani herdsmen than any previous administration.

Kogi State in the last three and half years has been the most insecured place. The height of insecurity in the state is occasioned by invitation of herdsmen and patronage of thugs by the state government. Those thugs disguised as ‘SAs’ are dangerous armed to attack perceived political opponents of Bello’s administration.

For the state to move forward,  the state need a man with fresh and workable idea and that should be the reason that Kogites would go for another person. The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC)  must not support Yahaya Bello or risk losing election in come November 16.

– Atek’ojo Samson Usman

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