Herdsmen: South-West governors ban open grazing

South-West leaders have agreed to ban open grazing in the region, Oyo governor Seyi Makinde has said.

The decision was taken when the governors met with the leadership of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria as well as security chiefs on Monday.

Some of the governors in attendance include Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Mohammed Abubakar of Jigawa State, and Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi State.

“Today, the South-West governors held a security stakeholders’ meeting in Ondo State,” Makinde said after the meeting.

“The meeting was attended by our brother governors from Kebbi and Jigawa States; security chiefs, South West zone led by the AIG Zone 11 and leaders from the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria.

“Collectively, we resolved to ban open grazing in all parts of the South-West.

“In Oyo State, we already have a law against open grazing which will continue to be implemented by our security agencies.

“I restated that we will not permit criminality as a response to criminal actions.

“Instead, we will continue to support our security agencies to do their duties.

“Also, we will work with our people to face our common enemies — the criminals, kidnappers, armed robbers and bandits.”

Observers say open grazing had been responsible for clashes between herders and farmers in the region.

The rising cases of kidnapping and sundry crimes in the region had also been linked to the activities of criminal elements who masquerade as herdsmen in their host communities.

On January 18, 2021, Governor Akeredolu ordered herdsmen to leave Ondo forest reserves within seven days following incidents of kidnapping attributed to Fulani herders.

Last Friday, violence erupted in Ibarapa area of Osun when Yoruba activist Sunday Igboho and his followers stormed a Fulani settlement to eject Seriki Fulani, Salihu Abdukadir, and herdsmen accused of perpetrating crimes ranging from kidnappings, killings, rape to invasion of farmlands with their cattle.

Monday’s meeting is part of efforts to restore peace and confidence following the security fallout.

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