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Governors split over cattle settlements

Kayode Fayemi

Dispute sparked by the planned establishment of Ruga (cattle settlements) for herders in some states keeps growing instead of subsiding.

To the Presidency, it is all a storm in a teacup as the project will eventually stop the herders-farmers clashes that have caused so much tension

But the proposal continued to draw flaks from many quarters, even as Bauchi, Niger and Plateau states differed on Monday.

In Jalingo, some youths protested the proposal. They said the proper thing was for herders to build ranches for their flocks.

Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi, who was in Orin-Ekiti to sympathise with the family of a hunter, who was allegedly killed on Saturday by yet to be identified gunmen, insisted that no land would be ceded to “outsiders”.

Fayemi, who doubles as the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), said the killing of Emmanuel Ilori, whom he described as one of the leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the town, saddened his heart.

Ilori was murdered while hunting with his colleagues.

The governor, who spoke in Yoruba, said that the attack was being investigated. He promised to do everything possible to bring the perpetrators to book.

Fayemi said that traditional hunters and security agencies would henceforth work together to ensure adequate security in the state.

According to him, more soldiers, armed policemen and other security personel would be deployed in the state.

He faulted the local chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for giving political colouration to the incident by alleging that he was planning to give Ekiti land to “outsiders” in exchange for a future political ambition.

He said the allegation lacked validity, insisting: “Nobody is coming to take our land in Ekiti. The governor of Ekiti State has power over the land of Ekiti and it is the person that the governor gives land in Ekiti that can use the land of Ekiti.

“If there are negative comments being peddled around, that some people are coming to take over Ekiti land, take over Orin land, take over Ido land, it’s a mere hearsay.

“It cannot happen in Ekiti, except I am no longer the governor of Ekiti State and there is nobody that can be governor in Ekiti that will cede Ekiti land to outsiders because our land is not even enough for us.

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