After asking members of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) to sign a peace part, Governor Ayodele Fayose on Thursday released nine cows arrested for contravening the state’s anti-grazing law to the group.
Fayose, however, stated that he released the cows to cement the relationship between the government, farmers and the Fulani herdsmen in the state, warning that the 7am till 6pm grazing period stipulated in the law stands and that anyone who contravenes this will be dealt with.
Fayose said this on Thursday at a stakeholders’ meeting held in the Government House with the leadership of Miyetti Allah in Ekiti and the South West, traditional rulers and the Fulani community
The Miyetti Allah promised to co-exist peacefully with the farmers and residents of the state.
The cows were seized a couple of weeks ago by the recently inaugurated Ekiti State Grazing Enforcement Marshal for contravening anti-grazing law.
Fayose said, “I have decided to release these cows to strengthen our union. So, I expect you to comply with the law because after now, if you contravene the law, we will take appropriate sanctions against you”.
The governor empowered the traditional rulers to enforce the grazing law in their domains and apportion lands to herdsmen to do their businesses under a controlled situation.
“You can’t because you are rearing cows be destroying our farmlands. Our people rely on these farms to survive and the moment you are destroying them, then they will not be interested to go into farming and hunger will affect all of us”, he said.
Fayose threatened to deal with whoever harasses the cattle rearers while doing their legitimate businesses, urging the leadership of Miyetti Allah to always report directly to him any case of intimidation and oppression against their members.
The South West Chairman of Miyetti Allah, Alhaji Mohammed Abass, warned the government at all levels against politicising the crisis between his members and farmers in some states.
Abass, who said the cattle business is very profitable in the South West, added that government politicising the agriculture sector would destroy the business and this he said may have an adverse effect on the diversification process of the government.
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