Our 5-Acre Farm Was Destroyed By Herdsmen’s Cattle —Bishop Popoola

Bishop of the Diocese of Osun, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Right Reverend James Afolabi Popoola, has called on the Federal Government to engage urgent efforts to address the menace of violent herdsmen across the country.

He stated this in his presidential address at the first session of the eleventh synod of the diocese, which took place at All Soul’s Anglican Church, Oke Fia, Osogbo, the Osun State capital, which had as its theme: The Great I Am.

He said: “Our own All Soul’s Anglican Church, Osogbo farm, on which much money was invested was also ravaged by cattle, with our five-acre cassava farm, yet to be harvested, destroyed. No part of the country has been spared. If the campaign to return to the land for agriculture would be meaningful, the Federal Government must put an end to the menace of herdsmen, who terrorise farmers on their farms. We appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to quickly put an end to the menace.”

Congratulating the government on the successful release of the Dapchi girls, he called for sustained efforts for the release of the remaining Dapchi schoolgirl, the Chibok girls, as well as ensuring “a means of protecting vulnerable school children in different parts of the country.

He also welcomed the concept of state policing, just as he condemned moves to create cattle colonies, stating that “this move treats Fulani herdsmen as a special set of people who need preferential treatment. Such land to be created as special Fulani colonies is also needed by the local communities for agriculture, which has become the mainstay of the economy and such land should not be forcefully taken over by the government as cattle colonies.

“Moreover, such colonies will constitute danger for the local communities, not that herdsmen carry dangerous weapons. We advise leaders in various communities to remain vigilant and report strange activities of herdsmen to law enforcement agencies.”

Commending the Osun State government on its efforts at infrastructural development and urban renewal, he urged the state governor, Rauf Aregbesola, to “make good his promise to pay all outstanding gratuities, pension allowances and salaries” before leaving government.

The synod featured lectures on fishery and snailery and how to access for agriculture.

While Bishop Professor Olu Igenoza took charge of the Bible study, Bishop Olubunmi Akinlade of Ife Diocese preached at the opening at the service on Thursday, while Bishop James Odedeji of Lagos West preached at the closing today.

Source: tribuneonlineng.com

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