The Kogi government has flagged off the vaccination of cattle in the state, geared towards preventing the outbreak of the dreaded Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP).
The government justified the action, saying the health and economic well-being of the Kogi people is its most paramount concern.
This was made known on Tuesday, August 28, at the Government House, Lokoja, during the flag-off of the mass vaccination exercise.
The governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Ayoade Folashade Arike (PhD), said he is committed to doing everything possible to ensure public health safety and improve the lives of the people.
He said the moment the outbreak of the disease was brought to his notice two months ago, he mandated the commissioner for agriculture, Honourable Kehinde Oloruntoba, to immediately set into motion actions to curtail the epidemic.
His words: “I am glad that my commissioner keeps a very close relationship with the Fulani community in the state and that he has a functioning feedback mechanism.
“Once he was alerted, he went round the various communities with veterinary doctors to sensitize the herders, identify the infected ones and quarantine them. He also immediately applied for for the deployment of vaccines from the federal ministry of agriculture and rural development.
“Today, I am glad they are here and we are going to protect our livestock against this disease. For us, economic progress and health of our people is paramount and this exercise moves us further in that respect."
On his part, Oloruntoba thanked the veterinary doctors who volunteered to accompany him on the rounds to remove infected cattle from herds and slaughter houses.
He also appreciated the federal ministry of agriculture and rural development for approving his request and releasing 125,000 vaccines to cater for the exercise, promising that the programme would be done effectively and speedily.
One of the the leaders of the Fulani community in the state, Alhaji Abdulahi Dauda, praised the government for being friendly to his people and for protecting their means of livelihood.
“I have been in Kogi state for over 35 years and Governor Yahaya Bello is the first I have seen to publicly identify with us with so much respect and sincerity. He knows how important we are and we love him for it. May God give him much success,” he said.
The chief veterinary officer of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Niran Alabi, thanked the governor for his commitment to the agricultural development of the state, while also requesting that the state employ more veterinary doctors to cater for the livestock in their domain.
Meanwhile, a Nigerian agricultural investor, James Paul Adama, has lost his 160 hectares of moringa farmland located at Kwi village in Riyom local government area of Plateau state due to activities of suspected herdsmen.
Adama, a native of Kogi state, kick-started the project in April 2018, with the aim of supplying the products to foreign and local companies, but his dreams were shattered herdsmen allegedly invaded the farm.