By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Oyo State Police Commissioner, Mr Shina Olukolu on Saturday met with famers and herders across Oyo State to continue to live in peace with one another.
CP Olukolu made the call at a security meeting with farmers and herdsmen across the state held at the Oyo State Police command headquarters, Eleyele, Ibadan.
The Commissioner of Police emphasized that there was the need for the farmers and the herdsmen to live in peaceful coexistence and should not see themselves as enemies to each other, but rather live in unity.
CP Olukolu maintained that inactive or absence of local conflict mechanism destroyed long term relationship between the farmers and the herders, adding that active local conflict resolution mechanism where a complainant has access to someone to lodge his/her complain within the community gives room for a peaceful resolution.
On the meeting, the Police Commissioner stressed that it was to exchange ideas and look at the critical issues between the farmers and the herders, and to find solution to the conflict.
“There are conflict between the farmers and herders in Oyo State particularly in areas like Saki, Iseyin, Igboora where there is prepundence of farmers and herders conflict, there is mutual suspicious and long time conflict between the farmers and the herders which are issues in the past that now transmit to present” he said.
CP Olukolu then charged the farmers and herders to understand and tolerate themselves for peace to reign, as development can only take place in a peaceful coexistence.
Speaking, the Special Assistance to the Oyo State Governor on Community Relations, Alhaji Abidemi Siyanbade disclosed that a bill on grazing is presently before Governor Abiola Ajimobi which he is optimistic that it will be signed into law by the end of this month, and this will reduced the clash between the farmers and the herders in Oyo State.
“Hopefully, Grazing Control Bill will be signed into law by the end of this month, and immediately this bill is signed into law, it will drastically reduced the conflict between the farmers and herders”.he said.
Spokesperson for the Oyo state Farmers Association, Chief Adeniyi Moses, tasked the Oyo State government to speedily pass the Grazing Control Bill into law to resolve the conflict between them and the herders.
“We want the government to fulfilled their promise by passing this bill into law, this bill has been waiting for passage for the past three years, all we want is peace and cooperation between the farmers and the herders so that we can live in unity”.
Chairman of the Mieyeteallah Cattle Breeders Association in Oyo State, Alhaji Yakub Bello, in his remark declared that herders and farmers has been together for a long time, but the only thing that differentiate them was that famers deal with farm, while herders deal with cattle.
According to Bello herders and farmer mostly have issues during the dry season when there is no grass for the cow to eat, and no water for the cattle to drink, saying misunderstanding and unresolute was what used to cause violence between the two parties.
“Peace is the most important in what ever we do, we and the farmers should not see ourselves as an enemy, all we need is peace so that there will not be conflict again between us and the farmers”.