By Polycarp Auta
Former Plateau governor Jonah Jang says his constituents are against the creation of cattle colonies as proposed by his successor, Simon Lalong.
Jang, who represents Plateau North within the Senate, mentioned in Jos on Friday that he had met together with his constituents to gauge their emotions on the proposal.
“My people are against cattle colonies; they have said that they would not relinquish their ancestral lands for the purpose of grazing reserves or colonies,” Jang mentioned in an announcement signed by his media guide, Mr Clinton Garuba.
Lalong had informed State House correspondents in Abuja on Thursday that he would introduce cattle colonies as a substitute of enacting a regulation to ban open cattle grazing in Plateau.
The colonies, Lalong argued, would examine the clashes between herdsmen and farmers because the cattle could be restricted to specific areas which would scale back the possibilities of straying into farmlands.
But Jang, who lamented the assaults on his individuals by gunmen suspected to be herdsmen through the years, mentioned that victims of such assaults have been “not ready to accept the confiscation of their land by government”.
“Cattle colonies are detrimental to the people and will not be accepted. The Plateau government is aware of this,” he declared.
According to him, Lalong was talking for himself when he promised to determine the cattle colonies.
“As far because the individuals of my senatorial zone are involved, Lalong spoke for himself and never for us.
“We have already suffered too much loss in the hands of attackers believed to be herdsmen; creating colonies for them will only worsen the situation,” he mentioned.
He dismissed claims by the governor that individuals have been already donating lands for the aim of grazing and cattle colonies.
“If the Governor claims that persons are already donating lands for the aim of grazing reserves or
cattle colonies, let him identify the donors.
“The Plateau persons are peaceable and have all the time rejected any coverage that might undermine that peace.
“My constituents’ position is clear – Lalong is on his own and alone in this path that he has chosen,” Jang mentioned.
Jang, nonetheless, suggested Lalong to apologise to Gov Samuel Ortom of Benue over an announcement credited to him (Lalong) wherein he claimed to have warned his Benue counterpart towards the anti-open grazing regulation.
“That assertion was significantly unfair to the individuals of Benue, coming at a time they have been mourning scores killed within the Jan. 1 assaults on villages in Guma and Logo Governments.
“The statement suggests that the killings took place because of the law. This cannot be true because the killings have been on for years while the law only took effect on Nov. 1,” the assertion mentioned.
Jang urged the federal and state governments to organise a gathering of stakeholders to hunt an enduring answer to the incessant herdsmen/farmers clashes, and pressured the necessity for insurance policies that might be honest and acceptable to all involved.