Oyo State bans grazing, straying of cows outside a proposed ‘enclosed designated area


By; Bayo Akamo, Ibadan.
Governor Abiola Ajimobi, Wednesday ordered total ban on night grazing and straying of cows outside a proposed ‘enclosed designated grazing areas’ across Oyo State.
The governor while stating these at a stakeholders’ peace meeting in Ibadan attended by farmers, Yoruba, Hausa/Fulani traditional rulers, leaders of herdsmen, and the state Police Commissioner Mr. Leye Oyebade, said hence any herdsman caught grazing in the state will definitely go to jail
According to the governor who cautioned farmers in the state against poisoning their farmlands and water because of the herdsmen, the enlarged meeting was a follow up to the earlier ones by the Police Commissioner to foster harmonious relationship between the herdsmen, farmers and various communities hosting herders across the state.
“There will no longer be night grazing and straying cows. The meetings will agree on the right compensations by herdsmen for farmers whose farmlands are destroyed or crops eaten up by cattle. It’s either the herdsmen pay in cash or kind by valuing and paying for the farmland or crops with corresponding number of cattle. But, I must appeal to the communities not to poison farmland and water. You never can tell who will be the victim,” he cautioned.
The governor stressed further that “we are proposing enclosed designated grazing areas in each community” saying, “government will buy the land from the owners for this purpose. The government will provide health workers, water and vet doctors in such places and collect tokens from the herdsmen to use the facilities.”
Governor Ajimobi pointed out that there was no basis for any crisis between the herdsmen and their hosts considering the long relationship among the Hausa/Fulani and their host Yoruba communities which had gone so strong to the level that they now intermarry and speak each other’s dialect fluently.
He stated that “in the entire Southern part of the country, I can say without equivocation that Oyo people are the most hospitable and accommodating and that is why you find a large concentration of Hausa/Fulani and other ethnic groups living and doing business here”.
“Similarly, more than 70 per cent of Ogbomoso indigenes plying their trade in the Northern part of the country speak Hausa fluently. So why should we fight one another. Progress and development elude communities where there is rancor and crisis. We don’t want that here and that is why this meeting is very important. It’s by divine arrangement that we co-exist, but in the process we should not become parasites to one another, maim or kill one another. As humans, disagreements are inevitable, but they should be resolved amicably.”
On cases of alleged rape by some Fulani herdsmen, the governor hinted that “any herdsman that rapes our woman will definitely go to jail. We will invoke the relevant laws of the land. If you like any of our girls that are ripe for marriage, please go to the parents to ask for her hand in marriage and that is if she is equally willing. We have recorded many of such intermarriages”.
The governor then listed a five-point agenda to quench the ember of discord and which he said would serve as rule of engagement between the herders and their host communities and that the state security council would meet and intensify discussions on farmers and herdsmen management monthly.
Directing that separate committees of farmers and herdsmen, as well as the community be set up to meet on a monthly basis to review level of adherence to the rules of engagement, he said there would be a short, medium and long term solution to the grazing debacle, which, he said, would involve creation of grazing routes in the first instance that would progressively lead to creation of enclosed designated grazing area and ultimately, grazing ranch.
The Sabiganna of Iganna, Oba Saliu Azeez; Seriki Fulani of Ogbomoso land, Alhaji Umaru Guruma and an herdsman from Orile-Igbon, Alhaji Ahmed Sulaiman, while speaking at the meeting lauded Governor Ajimobi and pledged their readiness to embrace peace.


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