Law is not meant to witch-hunt anyone – Gov Oyetola
Shina Abubakar, Osogbo
Fulani herders in Osun State on Wednesday disclosed their readiness to abide by the Anti-Open grazing law recently signed by Governor Adegboyega Oyetola.
The herders who spoke through the Seriki Fulani and the Secretary in the State, Ibrahim Babatunde and Oluwatoyin Yusuf said they were scared with the passage but upon adequate explanation, they are ready to cooperate with the government to ensure proper implementation.
They spoke at a stakeholder meeting organised by the state government to enlighten Fulanis, Bororo and herders on the Anti-Open grazing law, held at Jobcentre, Ogo-Oluwa, Osogbo, Osun State, According to Babatunde, “we were living in fear when the bill was first passed into law because of the threat we received from some people.
“But with this meeting and enlightenment on the basis for the law, we are happy that it is meant to maintain the already existing good relationship with people in the state”, he said.
Meanwhile, Osun State Governor, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola said the law is not to witch-hunt the Fulanis herders across the southern states.
The Governor who was represented by the Special Adviser on Civic Engagement, Olatunbosun Oyintiloye noted that enactment of the law banning open grazing is to protect the lives and properties of residents irrespective of their ethnic nationalities.
According to him, “the law banning open grazing is not to witch hunt the Fulani, Bororo and herders but to protect all the residents of the state. The law will help the already existing harmonious relationship that we are enjoying in the state.
“It will make it very easy to identify intruding herders coming into the state who may be fomenting troubles and tagging the leadership of the herders and the Fulanis. This law will help the existing committee of the state government, Committee on Peaceful Coexistence between Fulani/Bororo and Crop Farmers, direct attention of the government to promote the business and welfare of herders in the state.”
“The reason why we call this meeting is to enlighten you about the law and also get feedback from you to know the next line of action in making it easy for you to abide by the law that has just been enacted. The Commissioner for Agric and other government representatives are here for you.”
Also addressing the gathering, Osun Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Adedayo Adewole, said the government has a ranch at Oloba, Iwo area, where it planned to train herders on methods of rearing cows and other animals.
He called for cooperation with the government on the new law on the ban of open grazing.