Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha has denied reports of the existence of a cattle colony in the State.
He said rather the State government has encouraged Imolites to go into cattle business because it is lucrative and government would continue to support them through ranches.
The governor also said that it is absolutely wrong to associate the Fulanis with the killer herdsmen, explaining that the herdsmen who kill should be treated as criminals, and they should not be used to stigmatize the Fulanis who have men and women who have largely contributed to nation – building.
According to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemedo, the governor spoke weekend when he received in audience National Leaders of the Sacred Order of Cherubim and Seraphim led by its Supreme Head, the Prelate His Eminence Solomon Alao, at the Government House Owerri .
He added that most Nigerians who had spoken on the issue of herdsmen or Cattle Colony had done so out of emotions and not based on the facts of the matter.
His words “the fact remains that no one in this country has the right to take another person’s life in whatever disguise. For herdsmen to kill anybody is not right and that must be condemned. But it is wrong to stigmatize the Fulani race because of the actions of some of the herdsmen. We must call a criminal a criminal irrespective of where the person comes from”.
He continued, “We cannot be calling Igbos Kidnappers or 419ers or Niger Delta people Terrorists or Militants or Hausa people Boko Harams or Fulani people killer Herdsmen because of the activities of few criminals from their areas. That is the issue. A criminal is a criminal irrespective of tribe or religion. We cannot allow certain sentiments to becloud our sense of reasoning”.
The governor also stated that the major problem with the nation is not true federalism, or resource control or restructuring or Christianity or Islam, zoning or tribalism but lack of wealth creation adding that what we have in the country is wealth consumption and not wealth creation which the nation needs dearly to overcome a lot of her challenges.
He said “we must create wealth in Nigeria because once wealth is created the noise about restructuring, resource control, true federalism and others, will cease. This noise will continue until we create wealth. The amount of wealth consumed in the country outweighs the amount of wealth created and that is what is called poverty”.
He also advised Nigerians to always speak well of their country because there is power in the spoken words, regretting that a good number of Nigerians speak evil of their nation either because they do not like the person at the helm of affairs or out of one sentiment or the other.
Leader of the delegation, Prelate Solomon Alao in his speech said the Church and most Christians in the country are against Cattle Colony because it will not give the nation peace no matter the intentions behind it, adding that the Church and Christians prefer ranching.
He commended the governor for what he described as his massive infrastructural transformation of the State describing him too as someone the nation needs his wealth of wisdom and vision at this critical time, adding that Governor Okorocha is one leader that can make a difference in the country.