Yayaha Bello Not Hospitalized, Says Aide

The Kogi State government on Tuesday dismissed report that Governor Yahaya Bello is hospitalized and incapacitated.

The government made the clarification in a statement signed by Director-General, Media and Publicity in the governor’s office, Kingsley Fanwo.

The statement partly read: “The Governor missed his footing last Friday March 30, 2018 while alighting from a vehicle and injured his left foot. He was treated by his doctors, who bandaged the leg and discharged him.
“We thank all the Governor’s supporters and well-wishers who reached us to inquire after his wellbeing. His Excellency is doing very well and will be at work as usual after the Easter holidays.”
“Once again, the Governor sends his best wishes to Kogites for the Easter Season and beyond,” it added.
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Kogi State: Time To Adapt The Five Building Blocks Of Champions, By Aruwa Abdulmalik

Positioned by Providence at the centre of ten (10) other Nigerian states and with its capital being the first administrative headquarters of modern Nigeria, the continuous thought of how to develop Kogi state to become one of the top global destinations for business and recreation has remained in the orbit of my concern. How states such as Indonesia, China, Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong strove to prominence (growing from third to first world nations) has tickled my fancy since forever.

Singapore was top of the list of countries that I was eager to learn about its developmental strides and I had frolicked, albeit not frivolously, with this idea daily since 2013. Every day, as I enjoy waltzing past the ever-bubbling streets of Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, I saw this fat book From Third World to First. Seeing that I was (and still am) a denizen concerned with my state’s present state of disarray, this remained permanently in my subconscious. Another event that constantly brought up Singapore was a popular political campaign that featured on most electronic media platforms for the then President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, likening him to Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore. These foregoing consolidated the ideas I had about the Country.

I found a number of handy reference texts online about Singapore’s success but, one really sat well with my views and approach on how to achieve greatness with Kogi state. From Third World to First, Singapore’s Success Story by Henri Ghesquere. This work, brief yet concise,  highlighted all the important steps taken by Singapore in achieving the success it now enjoys and known for.

As contained in other articles, Singapore is not without flaws, it is no paradise. The opening paragraph of Henri Ghesquere’s Singapore’s success story leaves no one in doubt about the efficiency/effectiveness of their system. Hear Henri: You touch down at the Island’s ultra-modern airport- routinely voted the world’s most efficient. Soon you navigate through lanes of gleaming new cars in a tropical garden setting. A glimpse of the sea reveals hundreds of ships in front of the world’s busiest container port.

Singapore’s long list of medals brandished on its Wikipedia profile includes- the most Technology-Ready Nation (WEF), Top International Meetings City (UIA), city with Best Investment Potential (BERI), second-most competitive country, third-largest foreign exchange market, third-largest financial centre, third-largest oil refining and trading centre and the second-busiest container port amongst others. Henri wrote that these feats have led China to learn from Singapore and were the reasons China, in 1978, reversed its five centuries of economic isolation.

Henri Ghesquere broke down the important features of Singapore’s success into five main building blocks which he calls The Five Building Blocks of Champions. These five building blocks sit very well with my views on how I think we can achieve economic success in Kogi state hence the reason I have adopted this piece a framework.

Turn around our weakness to strength

Kogi’s “weakness” which is what we currently experience (in 2018) is a myriad of issues less severe than what was obtainable in some more developed nations – poor leadership, poor education and healthcare systems, lack of job opportunities, the absence of critical infrastructure, weak public service and serious corruption.  Looking at the initial conditions of some developed countries, it is safe to say Kogi is at a higher vantage position to achieve success faster if we develop a plan that will re-engineer our critical infrastructure, public service, security, education and healthcare systems. This way we attract investments that create job opportunities for all.

In Kogi, the positives outweigh the negatives. There is an abundance of natural resources, relative peace and security. The state has a vast arable land mass and a climate that supports the production of food and cash crops. The presence of Rivers Niger and Benue and their tributaries provide capacity for all year farming, inland transportation, and tourism.

Develop the will to focus on an ambitious goal and run the distance

For Kogi State to achieve success there is need to collectively state and agree on where we want to be per time; what our vision is or a long-term ambitious goal and come up with a comprehensive plan that clearly outlines strategies having in mind our socio-economic challenges. It is fact that a sound developmental blueprint requires a lot of time, funds and manpower to develop. Kogi boasts of some of the brightest minds within and outside the state. It is time to come to the drawing board and develop a plan that is seen as serving the interest of the majority.

To achieve any long-term ambitious goal, we need to put our best eleven (as obtains in football) forward periodically to be elected to leadership positions. Individuals must be identified based on their records of achievements, leadership capacity and how much their plan is in line with the State’s bigger, developmental plan. The State needs to recruit and develop outstanding public officials and civil servants who are futuristic, innovative, result oriented, pragmatic, disciplined and new school in ways of doing things.  Kogi has to find political and economic leaders who are strong: have the courage of their convictions, motivate and lead, apply the rule of law consistently, make informed (even if unpopular) decisions and implement policies designed. They have to be intelligent to think in depth and with foresight on what would work best for the people and adapt policies constantly, engage with ordinary citizens in a sincere dialogue that motivates and get them to fall in line with the new vision. They have to have integrity and commitment to treat ordinary people with dignity, earn their trust, share the economic benefits widely, and foster social harmony.


Discipline is a key attribute required to actualise any goal. The task to rapidly develop requires a leadership team and followership with immense discipline. Discipline is a virtue that must be restored for us to get our developmental goals achieved quickly.


Budgetary discipline

Live within our means. Kogi state needs to take a cue from some developed nations; we have to, as a matter of urgency, develop a budgetary discipline and learn to live within our means. It is common knowledge that Kogi state ranks very high on the list of poor states in Nigeria. The state’s annual internally and externally generated revenue can’t put in place the needed infrastructure to stimulate economic growth yet, we have a bloated civil service workforce and a long list of redundant and unproductive political appointees. The state must shed these liabilities and redirect its little resources to developing schemes that will bring more/alternative economic opportunities for the citizens. Living within our means must be consciously applied across board, every facet of our existence.

The discipline of competition: Recruitment, remuneration and promotion in the civil service should be as credible as can be got anywhere on the globe. It must be based on results achieved through actual policy execution and on potential capability, not on seniority or personal or group connections. For a state whose focus is to rapidly grow, results must be the basis for which promotions and recognition are earned.

Public order and the rule of law: Law and order are conducive to stability and development. A balance has to be struck between the right to life and liberty and the right to order and a safe society. It is a fact that law and order is a necessity for growth. The state we have today is one where large chunk of the population have appetite to go against civil law and order. Law enforcement needs drastic reforms that are stringent enough to curb lawlessness and disorderliness across all social classes.

Opportunities open to all candidates

Unemployment is a massive problem in Kogi presently. Gainful employment is the fastest way out of poverty. Prolonged unemployment has major economic, social and psychological costs. Citizens have demonstrated enormous strength and determination to enhance their economic well-being despite the tough challenges posed by lack of infrastructure and few opportunities to tap into. The Leadership needs to come up with programs and policies that create and open up more opportunities for everyone to compete for.   Nepotism must be checked for people to get employment, scholarships, grants and even school admissions based on merits not who they know in positions of power.

Quality education prepares tomorrow’s leaders and workers. Basic quality education for all should be provided by the state. Equal opportunity should be given to everyone to learn, to acquire skills and to perform, regardless of the tribe and religion. The discipline inherent in a merit-based system is combined with open access and a level playing field according to one’s talent. This will contribute to social cohesion in Kogi’s multi-ethnic society.

Incentives for victory

Kogi state needs to build the culture of recognising and rewarding excellence. Our reward system must be improved to motivate people to put in their best always.

Success, it is said, is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well. As a state that aspires for rapid growth, we must turn around our initial conditions (weaknesses), develop a long-term vision and a will to go the length, develop discipline, and create enormous, open opportunities.



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Kogi Govt Gives N50,000 Each To 50 Women Living With Disabilities

The Kogi State Government has given N50,000 each, to 50 women living with various forms of disabilities, to enable them start up their businesses.

Mr Ahmadu Hassan, Special Assistant to the Governor on People Living With Disabilities, who disclosed this on Thursday in Lokoja, commended Gov. Yahaya Bello for the gesture and urged the beneficiaries to use the money judiciously.

“The goal is to empower the beneficiaries; we have told them to take full advantage of this kindness,” he said.

Hassan said that the beneficiaries were selected from the 21 local governments and prayed for more of such gestures so that others would enjoy.

One of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Mallama Yakubu, thanked the governor for his kind gesture and prayed God to reward him for remembering the poor and helpless.

She promised to invest the money into her business “so as to make the governor proud”.


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Just In: INEC Fixes Date For Dino’s Recall Process

The Kogi state Independent National Electoral Commission on Wednesday announced dates for the commencement of the recall process of the embattled Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Prof. James Apam, said following the appeal court ruling that INEC can commence the recall process, the commission has fixed the last Saturday of April as the verification date.

INEC also fixed first Saturday in the month of May as the day that a referendum would be conducted in line with the electoral laws.

He said, “On this day, the Commission will endeavour to invite all those who have signed the recall register to come forward and identify their signature.”

According to him, if this process is successful, the Commission will proceed to the next stage where a referendum of all registered voters would be conducted.

“Here, voters will be asked to vote either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the question of whether they want Senator Dino Melaye recalled.

“If the answer meets the constitutional requirements of 51 percent ‘yes,’ the process moves to the next stage; but if it fails, the process stops,” Apam explained.


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Police Sue Dino Melaye To Court Over Alleged Unlawful Possession Of Prohibited Firearms

The Police have charged Senator Dino Melaye and three others with criminal conspiracy and unlawful possession of prohibited firearms before a Federal High Court in Lokoja.

Police spokesman Jimoh Moshood, an assistant commissioner of police, told reporters in Lokoja yesterday that the case was filed on March 16, following the confession of a “wanted criminal”  that the senator gave him arms and cash.

Moshood said the senator failed to cooperate with the police investigators having failed to report for questioning even after the Police wrote to Senate President Bukola Saraki seeking the release of the senator to answer to the allegations.

The suspects, Kabiru Saidu, a.k.a Osama (31), Nuhu Salisu (25 ) aka small, and Alhaji Muhammed Audu, a politician, who is now at large, are charged along with Melaye, who is representing Kogi West.

The Police said Kabiru and Salisu were arrested on January 19 at Ogojueje in Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi State, after a shootout and they confessed to being hired by Melaye to cause mayhem in the state.

The police said they seized from the thugs and their gang members, two AK47 rifles, five pump action guns, two locally made pistols and heaps of charms.

According to the police, the men not only confessed to have been involved in several kidnappings in the state and environs, they also claimed to be hired thugs for politicians.

“According to the gang leader, Osama, he had been working as a political thug for Alhaji Mohammed Audu .

“ He said Alhaji Mohammed Audu invited him to Abuja and introduced him to Senator Dino Melaye and they met on Airport road, Abuja inside Senator Melaye’s car in the month of December, 2017.

“The suspect further confessed that Sen. Dino Melaye told him that they should start working for him as his political thugs and they should recruit and train other thugs to work for him in preparation for the 2019 general elections to enable him ( Sen. Dino Melaye ) challenge his political opponents and disorganise Kogi State.”

The Nation

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Senate 2019: My Vision For The People Of Kogi Central – Lawal Omeiza Mohammed

One of Nigeria’s successful miners, Engineer Lawal Omeiza Mohammed, has formally declared his intention to contest the Kogi Central Senatorial District election on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC).

Omeiza made this known at his family house in Ohueta Okehi Local Government Area of the state.

According to him, his intention to run for Senate is a collective believe in repositioning Kogi Central in terms of representation at the Upper House of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

His address read:

“I know you didn’t come here just for me, you came here because you believe in what the people of Kogi Central deserve. In the face of uncertainty and despair, you believe there can be hope. In the face of a politics that’s shut you out, that’s told you to settle, that’s divided us for too long, you believe we can be one people, reaching for what’s possible, building a more perfect union.

“That’s our vision for this journey and I accepted the challenge to run for Senate comes 2019, because I am motivated by a single, simple but powerful idea – that I might play a small part in building a better Kogi State through our collective efforts to position Kogi Central at the better side of history.

“My mining experience has taken me to some of poorest neighborhoods where I joined with other professionals and lay-people to deal with communities that had been ravaged by mining activities. I saw that the problems people faced are usually not local in nature – because the decision to forestall the progress of Ajaokuta Steel Company was made in a distant miles away and sabotaged by the few empowered to protect us; that the lack of textbooks, computers and qualified teachers in our schools could be traced to the skewed priorities of the people strengthened to lead us; and that when a rather resolvable situation turns to violence, it’s a clear indication that the leadership has failed.

“It is in this constituency, Kogi Central that I was raised, strengthened and prepared for a day like this. I have come to serve you. I have come to reinforce the liberty and equality through active participation of awakened electorates.

“I greet you all once again, the farmers, professionals and teachers, businessmen and women and our biggest assets- The youths, all of you clamoring to be heard. Thanks for laying the foundation of a lasting friendships. This friendship must be elastic and accommodating where we can disagree without being disagreeable so long as we’re willing to listen to one another, we can assume the best in people instead of the worst.

“The time has come to restore the essential decency of our people and build a more hopeful Kogi Central. I believe we are stronger together and I stand before you today to announce my candidacy to run for Senate Kogi Central, Federal Republic of Nigeria comes 2019 and we have decided to officially commence this journey from home for every charity begins at home.

“This declaration may have come as a surprise to some people while to others it is ‘thank God he has finally agreed to represent us’. That is part of the dynamics of life. I know that the challenges are real and we must show the political will to push beyond just sound policies and sensible plans. We need to be extraordinary in our strategies and approach. We must say no to failed leadership and smallness of our politics.

“This is not the time to be trivial, petty or allowed ourselves to be distracted but a time to push for tough decisions and rolling up our sleeves to build a working strategies to confront our challenges.

“I have no doubt in my mind whatsoever that this journey will lead to a moment of opportunities for innovation, job creation with enhanced incentives for businesses that will serve as a model for others to emulate.

“I must sincerely recognise and appreciate the progress made so far by our amiable Governor, Alh. Yahaya Adoza Bello. I must say that Kogi state is safer under his leadership and I urge us to support him in order to sustain the gains.

“I understand those who may think that all we’ve said are political statements, judging from their past experiences and those who are still skeptical on how to realize our dreams.

“The doubts were created by politicians and candidates who every four years, make similar promises and offer several points of plans with speeches and only for the plans to be swept under the carpets- and promises faded from memory when elections are over which often times left the people disappointed thereby making them to struggle on their own. That is why this declaration can’t only be about me but It about us – it is about what we can do together. It will take our time, our energy, and your advice – to push us forward when we’re doing right, and to let us know when we’re not.

“That is the bigger picture that ignited this struggle and it is emphatically clear that without your collective supports our collective dreams and aspirations will be shattered.

“I therefore implore you all to join me in this journey by shaking off our slumber and make good the debt we owe the future generations as I am ready to work with you. Together, starting today, let us finish the work that needs to be done, and usher in a new birth of hope and prosperity in Kogi Central.”

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Senate Summons NSA, AGF Over New Law Establishing Armed Vigilante Group In Kogi

The Nigerian Senate has ordered its Committee on Security, Intelligence and Judiciary to immediately open investigation into an alleged law passed by Kogi State establishing “Vigilante Service Group”.

Senate resolution follows a motion from Senator Dino Melaye representing Kogi West.

Coming on Order 42(1), drew Senate attention to what he describes as plan by Kogi State Government to introduce “State Police”, through the backdoor.

“Mr President, this morning I bring to the Senate, a law passed by the Kogi State House of Assembly and signed into law by the Governor of Kogi State, Melaye said.

The lawmaker presented copy of the law to the Senate; arguing strongly that the provisions are in conflict with the 1999 Constitution.

He argued further that the law alters the functions of Nigeria Police as stipulated in Section 214 of the Constitution of Nigeria.

“Mr President, it is a fact that states can make laws through the Houses of Assembly as enshrined in Section 4 of the Constitution of Nigeria. But the laws they would make must not be in conflict with the provision of the Constitution, he said.

In the new law, the Vigilante Groups are permitted to carry arms and assist other security agencies in detection and prevention of crimes.

Melaye informed Senate that the Vigilante Group is allegedly carrying out extra-judicial killings in Kogi, warning that the situation could worsen if not disbanded on time.

“There is record of killings in Okene, record of killing in Adavi, record of killing in Lokoja. This group is already carrying AK 47 and Pump Action riffles openly in Kogi, “he said.


Senate in its ruling asked its Committees on National Security, Intelligence and Judiciary to look into the matter and invite the NSA and the AGF.

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Kogi To The World: Mercy Johnson Set To Premiere ‘Inikpi,’ Releases Teaser

The Senior Special Assistant to Kogi State Governor on Entertainments, Arts and Culture, Mercy Johnson Okojie has reiterated her readiness to project the heritages and culture of the Kogi people, as her first movie project in the state, “Inikpi,” is set to hit the cinema.
The Veteran Actress who disclosed this on Tuesday in a press statement signed by her media aide, Alex Adeiza stated that the movie is a blockbuster, and would be placing Kogi in the eye of the cinema.
“We are glad to inform our people that that one of the stories in the Kogi Diary is set to hit the cinema as we are putting everything in place towards a successful premiere.
“We are dropping the first teaser of the movie right away, as we also count on your supports and objective criticisms,” she said.
According to the Actress, the date of the first premiere in the state will be communicated in a Press Conference scheduled for April, 2018.
“Inikpi is an epic tale of the legendary Igala princess warrior, and it’s coming as the third exceptional project embarked upon by the Kogi State Government through the office of the SSA on Entertainments, Arts and Culture since her inauguration on April 1st, 2017.
“This teaser is just the tip of an iceberg compared to what will be unraveled at the premiere, and the world is about to get a firm grip of our story in a way it has never been told.
While promising her midas touch on the major cultures in the state, the Actress assured of her commitment to the development of the entetainments, arts and cultural sectors.
“From the first ever Kogi Summit on Entertainments, Arts and Culture, to the  GYBTalentHunt where we sourced the bulk of our talents for the movie, we are taking the Kogi Diary project one step at a time,” she assured.
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6 Charged For Allegedly Disrupting Kogi Senator’s Empowerment Programme

Six persons were on Friday charged before a Lokoja Senior Magistrate’s Court for allegedly disrupting an empowerment programme organised by Sen. Ahmed Ogembe (PDP/Kogi West), in Okene, on March 3.

The suspects included Moshood Shuaib Onimisi, Abdullazeez Yusuf, Otaru Musa, Onipe Innocent, Iliyasu Momoh and Jimoh Raji.

The accused, who appeared before Senior Magistrate Ojoma Rachael Haruna, are facing a two-count charge of criminal conspiracy and mischief punishable under section 97(2) of the Penal Code.

The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bail in the sum of N20,000 each.

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We Will Not Condone Cattle Rustling In Kogi – Government

The Kogi State Government has warned cattle rustlers that their nefarious activities will not be condoned in the State.

Speaking through his Director of Media and Publicity, Kingsley Fanwo, in Lokoja, Governor Yahaya Bello said the state’s hospitality should not be taken as gateway for criminal elements, assuring the people that government will protect them from the hands of criminals.

“The reports of cattle rustling in Mopa is regrettable. Security agencies will investigate the matter and bring perpetrators to justice. The State Security Adviser, Commander Jerry Omodara, is working with security agencies to ensure that criminal elements do not have a place in our society.

“Our open arms is no invitation to criminals. Our first responsibility as a government is to ensure the security of lives and property in the state.”

The Governor assured the Management of Daniyan Farms that thorough investigations will be done to get to the root of the matter, appealing to the people of the area not to take the laws into their hands.

“Daniyan Farms has existed for decades, providing food for our people and empowering our youth and women. Government will not allow criminals to destroy those legacies.

“Government has also directed security agents to strengthen surveillance and intelligence gathering as rustlers are not known to reside in a particular place. They move from place to place to perpetrate their crimes.

“The good thing is that the leadership of the Fulanis in the State are working with security agents to ensure peace and harmony. We shall spare no criminal who is fomenting trouble in the State.”

Fanwo said the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence corps (NSCDC) in Mopamuro has been strengthened to support other security agencies to ensure peace in the area, saying the administration of Governor Bello will not tolerate acts capable of endangering the lives of the people. He also said the State Government has invested heavily in training men of the Kogi State Vigilante Service to ensure security at the grassroots.

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Kogi Set To Host 300 Investors At First Ever Investment Summit

The Kogi State Government has said over three hundred local and international investors have indicated their willingness to attend the first ever Kogi State Economic and Investment Summit, billed to take place in the state capital, Lokoja, next month.

The Secretary of the Organising Committee and Special Adviser to the Governor on Finance and Investment, Achile Omali, stated this while speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the events held to mark the second anniversary of Governor Yahaya Bello in office over the weekend. He said the government had declared the state open for business, after it had taken care of so many teething issues it met on ground in the two years it has been in power.

“To attract the kind of investment that our people will be proud of and take full advantage of, we had to ensure that the issue of insecurity was rounded and completely tackled,” Mr. Achile said. “Governor Yahaya Bello sat down with the heads of security agencies and together with them fashioned out the best course of action to ensure success. Two years down the line, Kogi is far safer than it has even been and we are now open for business. It is now that we feel confident enough to invite investors from all over the world to come and see the wealth obtainable in Kogi State.

“More than three hundred investors from Nigeria and abroad have assured us of their attendance and we have put all in place to ensure they have a good time here and show them how safe their money is in Kogi State and how fast it will multiply.”

Mr. Achile added that national and international leaders of thought and industry will be gathered for the two-day event, adding that the Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), would give the opening speech at the event. Also expected are the Former Economic Adviser, Professor Mike Kwanashie; the President of the Miners Association of Nigeria, Sani Shehu and Bangladeh High Commissioner, Major General Kai Kobad.

“The theme of the summit is ‘Harnessing our diverse resources in agriculture, solid minerals and tourism for potential economic growth,’” the Special Adviser said. “As we have united the people behind our drive to prosper the state, and laid down water-tight policies and guidelines to secure our assets and the investment of our partners, we are certain that Kogi is the best place for investment.

“Our land is vast and rich, our potentials for mineral mining is almost endless and we have prime tourist attractions in the state. Ask the Chairman of Dangote Group of Companies, Alhaji Aliko Dangote. He is the Number One Corporate Citizen of the State and will be at the event live to tell the world how good he has had it in the state. We want many more local and foreign investors to join him.

He added that there are opportunities of investment in education, health, Job creation and infrastructure.

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PDP Disagrees With Yahaya Bello Over Establishment Of Cattle Colony

The Kogi State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has flayed the state governor, Yahaya Bello for committing to establish a cattle colony in the state.

In a statement in Lokoja, the state party publicity secretary, Bode Ogunmola, queried the governor for offering land for the establishment of cattle colony, a project that had allegedly been opposed by states, including those where the party holds sway.

His words: “Not surprisingly, most states, many of which are governed by the APC rejected the idea. But, without the needed consultation, Governor Yahaya Bello eagerly and enthusiastically welcomed it.

“As we speak, truckloads of the herdsmen have started arriving our communities.

“Three trailer loads of herdsmen arrived Aghara, a small community in Kabba-Bunu Local Government.”

Ogunmola claimed that the new arrivals came with a letter directing the traditional ruler of the village to receive them without opposition.

He alleged that this party had received similar reports from other parts, adding that that state was under siege.

The spokesman decried the high security risks and long-term implications.

He went on: “We reject the evil scheme in totality and therefore demand its immediate reversal. Farming is the mainstay of our economy. We cannot submit our collective patrimony or donate our God-given land to herdsmen, who at best, are private businessmen.

“We are saying it loud and clear that cattle colony is a satanic policy. Kogi people reject it.”

But the Director General, Bureau of Information Services and Grassroots Sensitisation, Abdulkarim Abdulmalik, said those opposing the idea were acting out of ignorance.

He maintained that cattle colonies would check criminal activities and frequent clashes between herdsmen and farmers nationwide.

The governor’s aide said the establishment of cattle colonies in the state would help government to effectively monitor the activities of herdsmen, as their operations would be restricted to a particular location.

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