The Emir of Kano, Alhaji Mohammed Sanusi 11 and the National President of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Alhaji Muhammadu Kiruwa, have commended the Ekiti State Governor, Chief Ayodele Fayose, for the enactment of the Anti-Open Grazing Law in the state, saying it is for the protection of all interest groups.
The duo said the law caters for the well-being of the parties involved, especially the herders, farmers, host communities among others.
Also, amnesty has been declared for any armed herder who surrenders such arms to security agencies in the state.
They spoke in Ado-Ekiti on Monday during a stakeholders meeting held at the Government House Grounds.
In a statement by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Idowu Adelusi, the Emir, who is a patron of the MACBAN, was represented by former Kano State Governor, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, who is also the Sarduana of Kano.
Emir Sanusi also frowned at the situation whereby some criminal elements would hide under grazing of herd to perpetrate crimes.
“My mission is not politics and it is about peace and peaceful coexistence of our nation
I am standing in here for the Emir and I am the Sarduana of Kano. The Emir mandated me to come over here with the leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association and find out how we can work amicably. He feels that as a patron of the group he must ensure peace and lauded Governor Fayose for promoting peace.
“The law Governor Fayose enacted is the best to defend the rights of farmers and cattle breeders. Whoever crosses the red line should be dealt with as the law provides. That breeders should obey the rules of the communities they reside,” he said.
In his comment, the MACBAN President, Muhammadu Kiruwa, described the meeting as a great eye opener and one that would put an end to incessant clashes between farmers and herders.
“I am really impressed with the governor for organising this meeting. Some state governors would just sit in their offices and not being proactive like Governor Fayose. Some misconception that I personally had against the governor have been cleared now.
” I can say it categorically that Governor Ayodele Fayose is a true leader of his people. He is definitely a lover of all groups including the Fulani people I can say he is the Sarkin Fulani of Ekiti State. He is a peaceful leader and represents hope for all.
We align ourselves with the grazing law as made by Ekiti State Government because it protects the interest of all parties,” he said.
Speaking in the same vein, the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adejugbe Aladesanmi 111, said Fayose, being a visionary leader, ensured the enactment of the law following the killing of some people in Irele-Ekiti about two years ago.
“Some people thought he wanted to create problems with the law but as a visionary leader, he only took a proactive step and that was what helped prevent bloodshed like we had in some states. We need to tackle the issue before it gets out of hand. We are toying with danger if care is not taken. I would suggest that traditional rulers from across the country move round to meet and interact with the people,” he said.
In his speech, Governor Fayose said the essence of the meeting was to find peaceful means of resolving issues instead of beating the drums of war.
“A criminal is one and should be so treated. Our interest is peace. As we are interested in the welfare of everybody and we must not allow criminal elements to go free. Our relationship goes beyond cows. We must respect each other and we will cooperate to achieve result. We want Ekiti to be a shining example and anybody that needs to be charged to court or fined will be so disciplined,” he said.
Fayose also said herders in government forest reserves must come out and register with local government authorities or they would be treated as those causing trouble in the state.
He also accepted the invitation by Kiruwa to be part of the teams to mediate in the crises in Benue and Taraba states.