- The federal government's alleged proposal to create cattle ranches in the Edo state central senatorial district has been rejected by a group known as the Esan National Congress (ENC)
- ENC said that the creation of cattle ranches in the state, especially in the area, will bring about bloodshed and untold violence
- The group therefore warned the state government not to consider the federal government's move
Esan National Congress (ENC), a group that represent the interest of Esan people, a top ethnic group in Edo central senatorial district of the state, has rejected proposals to use lands in the area for cattle colonies or ranches.
ENC stated that its rejection of the proposal by the federal government was on the grounds that in most parts of the country where lands have been donated for the purpose, the fallouts between the host states and the herdsmen have been nothing to write home about, Vanguard reports.
Chief Omochiere Aisagbonhi, the Esogban of Ubiaja, who is also the group's chairman, in a statement called on the authorities not to consider making the senatorial district the site of any cattle colony or ranch for herdsmen.
He said: “Esan people, as a peaceful race with law-abiding citizens, welcome other law-abiding and peace-loving persons who wish to do legitimate and beneficial business in Esanland. Any business to be so carried out must not be to the detriment of the original inhabitants and owners of the land.
“In view of the attendant effects of cattle ranching/colony in parts of the country where farmers and other citizens have been and are being killed or kidnapped by supposed herdsmen, Esan People say ‘no’ to any effort for their land or territory to be used for cattle ranching/colony.”
“Esan people have been following events relating to cattle business as carried out by herdsmen in Nigeria.
"Esan people are not unaware of the historical background of cattle and herdsmen businesses in areas that have come persistently under attacks by the herdsmen to the point that the original inhabitants and landowners have been displaced from their ancestral homes.
“In view of the attendant effects of cattle ranching/colony in our immediate, surrounding and external environment in Nigeria, where farmers and other citizens have been and are being killed, or kidnapped daily by supposed pastoralists/herdsmen, Esan People say ‘no’ to any effort for their land or territory to be used for cattle ranching/colony.”
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com reported that the Word-Based Bishops and Apostles Peculiar Global Association Incorporated, based in Benin-City, Edo state had opposed the proposed ceding of land to herdsmen for cattle grazing.
The clerics made their position known in a communiqué issued by Bishop Solomon Akhigbe, Bishop Osadolor Ochei, Rev A. O. Ehigie and 10 others, over the weekend in Benin-City.
Nigerian Herdsmen vs Nigerian Farmers | NAIJ.com TV