As the quit notice giving to herdsmen to vacate Ondo State forest by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu continues to create controversy, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chieftain and Delta State governorship aspirant, Chief Sunny Onuesoke wants Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Shehu Garba to tell Nigerians if it is a crime for herdsmen to practice cattle ranching.
Onuesoke, who asked the question while responding to questions from newsmen in Asaba, Delta State on the reaction of Shehu Garba towards the ultimatum given to herdsmen to vacate Ondo forest by Akeredolu, said it is unfortunate that the Presidential Spokesman who is an educated and a vibrant journalist that has travelled through the breadth and length of the world is defending outdated method of animal husbanadry instead of advising the cattle rearers to practice cattle ranching as it is done in developed countries.
“It is unfortunate that countries over the world are moving from analogue to digital in animal husbandry, the APC government is retrogressing backwards to analogue. Is it a crime to ranch our cows ? Am talking in respect to the Ondo state current issue.
“What does it take the federal government to pass a law for all herders to ranch their cows? Cow rearing management all over the world is purely ranching! Why can’t Shehu Garba say for once that ranching is currently the in thing in animal husbandry for now. I weep for Nigeria,” he stated.
Onuesoke who disclosed that it is right time to put the inequality in the polity to an end, said herdsmen could live and do any business anywhere in the Nigeria, but an Igbo man cannot sell alcohol in Kano and a Yoruba man cannot rear pig in Sokoto.
The PDP Chieftain, who wondered why would a group of Nigerian men or bandits disguising as herdsmen be allowed to unlawfully occupy a space that has been legally ascribed as forest reserve, argued “It seems Garba Shehu apparently does not know the meaning of forest reserve. It’s not accessible except to authorised personnel/loggers. Apart from the place being a place for valued cash trees, it also means a haven of safety for protected animals against poachers. The herdsmen living in the forests are not only unauthorized, they also would likely cut down trees to make fires and must also kill animals for food.”
He wondered why the presidency has never come to the defense of the innocent victims kidnapped, raped or killed by these criminals disguising as herdsmen residing in the forest, but very fast to defend them, whenever they are called to order.
“I do not want to believe by Shehu Garba’s pedigree that he might want to offer himself as the spokesperson for people masquerading as herdsmen and committing crimes. I also do not want to believe that he has offered himself as the spokesperson for criminal elements who are operating under herdsmen,” he added.