The Oyo State House of Assembly has called on the Executive Arm of Government to put measures in place for the implementation of the Anti-Open Grazing Prohibition Law.
This was the resolution of the lawmakers while contributing to a motion on the need to put measures in place to forestall possible rise in herdsmen/farmers clashes in most agrarian communities in Oyo State as the dry season approaches, jointly brought by Hon. Francis Adetunji (Oluyole) and Hon. Saminu Gbadamosi (Atisbo/Saki East).
The motion states in part: “As the dry season approaches, herders and their cattle from the fast drying North will be moving down to the West to get greener pastures for their animals.
“The concern is that the herders would not restrict grazing of their cattle to uncultivated farmlands alone. Experiences in the past would remind us of the bitter tales our farmers have had to tell.
“Many of our farmers have left their farms for either the fear of being killed by notorious herders or because of great losses they have recorded over time due to the wanton destruction of their farms by these set of people and their animals.”
The lawmakers stated that it is time for the implementation of the anti-open grazing law passed by the Assembly on the 24th of October, 2019 and already assented to by Governor Seyi Makinde, to checkmate the destruction of farmlands by the herders and also compel them to adopt the modern ways of rearing their animals.
In their remarks, Hon. Asimiyu Alarape (Minority Leader) and Hon. Simeon Oyeleke (Ogo-Oluwa/Ajaawa) urged the Executive Arm of Government to take proactive measures in addressing the activities of the Fulani herders who carry weapons and guns around.
The duo of Hon. Akeem Adedibu (Chief Whip) and Hon. Jacob Bamigboye, who were almost moved to tears, narrated how their farmlands were recently destroyed by the herds of cattle of the Fulanis.
The two lawmakers said farmers in Oyo State will experience worse situations from Fulani herders in the coming dry season if the recalcitrant Fulani herders are not made to face the full wrath of the provisions of the law, and appealed to the governor to be courageous enough in implementing the Open Grazing Prohibition Law.
The Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon. Adebo Ogundoyin, maintained that continuous destruction of farmlands by Fulani herders and their cattle was unacceptable, stressing that the action had continued to take its toll on food production, resulting in scarcity of foodstuff and an increase in their prices.
Ogundoyin stated: ”Our Security agents, Amotekun Corps and other Vigilante Groups must work together to address this menace and arrest these agents of destruction. We cannot afford to have an increase in the activities of Fulani herders on our farms.”
The House also called on all stakeholders to organise farmers/herders meeting in order to reiterate compliance to the Open Grazing Prohibition Law and re-emphasise the need for everyone to live together in peace and harmony.
It was equally resolved that there should be adequate sensitisation in the media, in different languages, to ensure everyone becomes aware of the penalities and the provisions of the law in order to prevent further violations.