By Stephen Ubanna
Ahead of the July 14, 2018, governorship election in Ekiti state, south west Nigeria, Kayode Fayemi, a former minister of mines and Solid minerals Development and now governorship Candidate of the All Progressive Congress , APC, may have to convince the Ekiti electorates that he is an apologist of the President Muhammadu Buhari of the ruling APC government programmed of development a cattle colony in each state of the Federation.
The argument in political circles in the state was that Buhari had thrown his weight behind him to contest the state governorship election because of his support for the Cattle colony project and agreement to donate land for the project in the state if he wins the July 14, 2018, governorship election.
The People’s Democratic Party, PDP, have alleged that that the APC governorship had said that that the only wat herdsmen killings could stop in different parts of the country would be only if they are given land for permanent settlement. Dickson Adebayo Publicity Secretary of the party in the state has alleged that the aAPC Candidate had entered into agreement with the President to create cattle colonies in Orin Ora, Aramoko Omuo, Otun Ise, Erifun in Ado Ekiti, the state capital.
The PDP is using the statement credited Fayemi as an ammunition to turn the heart of the electorate against him. ”Non inch of Ekiti land would be given to the herdsmen as cattle colonies to avoid creating an inroad for their invasion of the state”, the party had said. The party may have been convinced that Fayemi is an apostle of the Buhhari and Audu Ogbeh, the minister of Agriculture and cattle colony project because of his alleged condemnation of herdsmen killings in Oke Ako,Orin. Okemesi, Aiyede, and Ipao. The party may have been convinced that Fayemi was in agreement with Buhari for the cattle colony project because no APC governor in the north or south west geo-political region had seen anything bad in it but sees it as part of the party programme that must be fulfilled at all costs.
The attitude of Rochas Okorocha , an APC , governor , in Imo state, south east Nigeria to the cattle colony project in the south east may have given credence to the claim that the APC governors , across the states of the Federation were behind Buhari and Ogbeh in the cattle colony project.
But Fayemi had made it to those that care to listen that he would not accede any part of Ekiti land to the Federal government for the project if elected the governor in July 14 governorship in the state. He has his reason . This is no state in the south west, south east or south-south has volunteered to provide land to the Buhari led APC government to set up cattle colonies.
The cattle ranch colony appears to be the only strong weapon that the PDP is using in the state against the the former minister. There are fears in political circles that the cattle ranch colony may weigh heavily against Fayemi as the people are beginning to have a change of mind against him for fear that he may bow to Buhari’s pressure if he wins the Ekiti election. Fayemi may have realised the import of the PDP Campaign slogan too late that it is difficult to convince to convince the people of the state now that he has no business with the cattle colony project. This may have brightened the chances of Kolapo Olusola, a Professor and former Deputy governor of the state and who incidentally is the PDP governorship Candidate in the Ekiti election to win .
Ogbeh, the minister of Agriculture and Rural development , appears to have known that both the APC and PDP governors are not keying into the government cattle colony project to avoid going against the wishes of their people. This is evident by his recent confirmation that of the letter sent out to 20 states to make land available for the project, only two had responded.
The Magazine learnt that when the idea was sold to the governors by the minister at the instance of the President, 16 states from the north volunteered to provide land for the establishment of the cattle colonies, leaving out three. The roll call: Adamawa, Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara,, Kebi, Nasrawa, and Plateau. Others are Bauchi, Borno,, Jigawa,, Kogi, Niger, Kwara and Yobe states. The states that were said to turned their back on the demand of the minister were Benue, Ogbeh’s home state, Taraba, Theophilous Danjuma’s home state and Sokoto state, the home state of Sambo Dasuki, a retired Colonel and a former National Security Adviser, languishing in detention on the orders of Buhari over alleged misappropriation of funds under former President Goodluck Jonathan.
there are fears that the cattle colony project may also hunt Buhari in the 2019 general election as the Politicians are determined to remove him. Already, the PDP had teamed up with 39 other parties to form the United Coalition of Political Parties, ostensibly to chase Buhari out of office in 2019 and re-unify the country.