By; NIYI OGUNGBOLA, Abeokuta
Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, on Thursday, signed into law, the Bill to Regulate Animal Grazing and Establishment of Cattle Ranching in Ogun State Bill, 2021.
Abiodun, who assented to the bill during a Security Council meeting in the State Secretariat at Oke Mosan, Abeokuta, called on the security agencies to swing immediately into action and enforce provisions of the law.
The signing of the anti-open grazing law by the governor followed the decision of the Southern Governors’ Forum in August, setting the September deadline to pass the law across the states.
The Ogun State House of Assembly had on July 8, 2021, passed the bill.
The Speaker of the House, Olakunle Oluomo had subsequently transmitted a clean copy to Governor Abiodun for assent.
Speaking after signing the Bill into law, the governor said that “this is a subject matter that has been discussed along the length and breadth of the country and which we southern governors have discussed and endorsed.
“Ogun, has enjoyed peace between various ethnic nationalities until the recent farmer- herder skirmishes”, he added.
Cattle rearers, according to Abiodun have a six-month period of grace before it will become illegal in Ogun state for them to occupy unapproved public areas and private land with their livestock for grazing.
The law, he noted further, was also to prohibit the act of moving cattle around public places by herders.
The governor, however, said a committee headed by the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Adeola Odedina has been set up to midwife the implementation and enforcement of the new law.
“There were pockets of crises witnessed in the state as a result of alleged open grazing in the Yewa axis of the State in April, necessitating the setting up of a peace committee headed by a former House of Representatives member, Kayode Oladele.
“The crises this year pitched Hausa-Fulani settlers against their Yoruba host communities.
“It is expected that the anti-open grazing law will prevent the spread of the menace the state.
“By implication, in six months, it will become unlawful to openly graze cattle or other livestock in the state”. Abiodun submitted.