…Says those who faulted him for Initiating Anti-Open Grazing Law in 2017 now grandstanding
A Yoruba Group, Oodua Intelligence Network, OIN, on Monday, described the decision of the Southern Governors’ Forum to ban open grazing of cattle as a vindication of the position taken four years ago by Mr Ayodele Fayose when he was the Governor of Ekiti State.
In a statement by its Secretary-General, Mr Raymond Adeniyi, the group said Fayose acted like a man who saw tomorrow by taking the security of lives and properties of Ekiti people seriously, but he was derided then by most of his colleagues.
Adeniyi accused Governors Kayode Fayemi and Rotimi Akeredolu of placing political interest against the yearnings and aspirations of their people when they were supposed to act rightly.
The group said if Fayose’s position had been supported by all concerned then, security issues in the Southern part of the country, especially, the menace of herdsmen currently terrorising the people of the Southern regions would have been curtailed.
He said: “Fayose saw all these coming and he took proactive steps. He came up with a solution to the menace of herdsmen by banning open grazing of cattle and setting up Anti-Grazing Marshall in Ekiti State.
“Then, Fayose’s action appeared unpopular. He was abused and labelled as a hater of the north by those whose only interest was politics including Akeredolu who read the Communique on Wednesday.
“Today, it can now be seen that Fayose was right and those who criticized him were wrong. Those governors, who out of politics, condemned him then are now at the forefront of the same measure they ought to have supported five years ago.
“However, it is not enough for the Southern Governors to speak, they should match their words with actions. They should get their Houses of Assembly to make laws against open grazing and enforce the ban by setting up anti-grazing marshal to be well equipped just the way Fayose did in Ekiti State then.
“This is because cattle farming is a business and those involved must provide means of carrying out their business.
Moving cows from one State to the other through the bush is archaic and there is no reason anyone should be canvassing argument in support of nomadic cattle rearing in this modern age.
“We say without any fear or favour that here in the Southwest, there must be no grazing routes, no grazing reserve, no grazing colony. Cattle farmers should get their own ranches and move their cattle with vehicles, not through the forests.”