Ayodele Fayose, the Ekiti State governor, has read the riot act any herdsman caught grazing in the state with arms or in possession of any weapon, saying that such herdsman will be charged with terrorism and prosecuted accordingly.
The governor stated this after signing a bill titled ‘Prohibition of Cattle and other Ruminants Grazing in Ekiti, 2016’, into law on Monday, August 29, 2016, during a meeting with traditional rulers and chiefs at the Government’s House in Ado Ekiti.
The bill was read to the gathering by the speaker of the state’s House of Assembly, Kolawole Oluwawole, who hinted that the state government was already planning to allocate land for grazing in all the state’s local government areas.
Fayose, while signing the bill into law, said the purpose of the meeting was to seek collaboration with the traditional rulers and chiefs on security issues and other crimes in the state.
“My government took the bill to the House after what happened in Oke Ako a few months ago. The House has passed the bill and I have to give my assent to it. It becomes a law from today that if you do anything to the contrary, you will be punished according to the law. Any herdsman caught with firearms or any weapon while grazing in Ekiti now will be charged with terrorism,” the governor said.
Giving insights into the bill, Oluwawole said grazing activities must be from 7am to 6pm on a daily basis.
The speaker stated, “The government shall allot certain portion of land to each local government for grazing. Anyone caught grazing on portions of land or any farmland not allotted by the government shall be apprehended and made to face the law.
“Any herdsman caught with firearms and any weapons whatsoever during grazing shall be charged with terrorism. Any cattle confiscated shall be taken to the government cattle ranch at Erifun in Iworoko community.
“Any farm products destroyed by the activities of any caught herdsman shall be estimated by agricultural officer and the expenses of the estimate shall be borne by the culprit. Any herdsman who violates any of these rules shall be imprisoned for six months without an option of fine.”