Ola Ajayi – Ibadan
Some Fulani men under the auspices of Gan Allah Fulani Development Association of Nigeria have threatened that the proposed anti-open grazing bill which has passed the second reading in the Oyo state House of Assembly would cause “commotion” in the state if implemented.
The herders through their National Chairman, Alhaji Sale Bayari, had said during the public hearing of the bill, three weeks ago that the bill was proposed in bad faith.
This came just as the herders threatened that they would explore legal options against the bill which, they claimed was initiated to put them out of their nomadic business.
Alhaji Bayari, who spoke at Igangan, an agrarian community in Ibarapa North Local Government area, simply said, “the implementation of the bill as it is, will cause commotion”.
The bill tagged “Oyo State Open Rearing and Grazing Regulation Bill 2019” was sponsored by the Speaker of the Oyo state House of Assembly, Mr Debo Ogundoyin and two others passed the second reading about a week ago.
The herders, through their leader in Oyo state, Sarkin Fulani of Oyo State, Alhaji Saliu Abduk-Kadir said the bill was “too draconian” in nature.
“We will go to court. We will seek legal redress if the Oyo State Government insists on imposing this bill on us.”
After the meeting that lasted five hours, a communiqué was read by the Oyo State Secretary of Gan Allah Fulani Development Association, Mr Garba Umar who said the herders rejected the bill in its totality describing it as a serious setback to their means of livelihood.
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They appealed to Oyo State Government to provide RUGA or grazing reserve for cattle breeders where water would be accessible.
“It is simply this issue that threw up IDP Camps in Benue. And we don’t want all this to happen here in Oyo State where we have been living peacefully with our fellow farmers for ages”, they noted.
According to the communiqué, “However, if we are pushed to the wall, we know the next level. Our next level is to seek the legal option. We will go to the court of law over the matter,” they concluded.