Metro

Enugu professionals want Ada Rice revived, reject ranching

Photo caption: Ada rice farm

The Nsukka Platform, based in Asaba, has rejected the plan by the Enugu State Government to establish ranches in some communities in the state.
Rising from an emergency meeting held in Asaba, the Delta State capital on Saturday, the Chairman and the Secretary of the group, Dr Leo Abonyi and Mr Ejiofor Asogwa respectively, appealed to the state government to desist from such a plan.
The socio-cultural group, which is made up of professionals from Enugu North Senatorial District but residing and working in Asaba, Delta State, said that such plans are capable of destroying the people.
The group said, “We condemned in its entirety, the plan by the state government to establish ranches in Nimbo, Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area; Eha-Amufu, Isu-Uzo Local Government Area; and Ugwoba, Oji-River Local Government Area of the state.
“Officials of the State Government had called the Chairman of Uzo Uwani Local Government Area some months ago, directing him to inform the leadership of the Nimbo community that the government wanted to establish a ranch in the community.
“This anti-people move by Governor Peter Mbah-led administration was instantly rejected by the people and elicited immediate protest by the community.
“It is unfortunate that a Governor of South East extraction in his wildest imagination will think that the best thing to do for his people in this age and era, is to set up ranches in the state to be owned by herdsmen who are notorious for mindless, killings, kidnappings, land grabbing and expansionism in various parts of the country.
“It could be recalled that these herdsmen unleashed terror and mayhem on the people of Nimbo and few years back, killing and maiming scores of the indigenes as well as setting their houses ablaze.
“Till this moment, neither the Federal Government nor the State Government has done anything to compensate for the loss of lives, injuries, and incalculable damage inflicted on the people of these communities.
“We want to state without equivocation that ranching is nothing but RUGA, which the past administration of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari had tried to foist on the people of Nigeria in his ill-fated eight years rule which was roundly rejected by Nigerians.
“We wonder what would, at this time, make the Enugu State Government contemplate bringing RUGA through the back door into Nimbo or any part of the state.”
The group questioned the economic importance or benefit of ranching for communities, especially Nimbo, if not just to have the people maimed, suppressed, oppressed, killed, and subjected to slavery in their ancestral land.
They urged Governor Mbah to set up massive local agricultural production and processing centres in these areas since they are agrarian if he is sincere and wants to develop Nimbo, Eha-Amufu, and Ugwuoba.
“What the people of Nimbo and other communities in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area need now is the revival of the Ada Rice Farm which can cater to the rice need of the entire South East and beyond. The area also needs a university of agriculture.

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