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Fulani Herdsmen Kick Against Anti Grazing Law in Ekiti State

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Gov Fayose during the signing of the Bill

Gov Fayose during the signing of the Bill

The Ekiti State Government on Monday signed a bill banning grazing activities after 6PM in the evening and before 7AM in the morning, into law.

The law titled “Prohibition of Cattle and Other Ruminants Grazing in Ekiti, 2016,” also says that any herdsman caught with firearms and any weapons whatsoever during grazing shall be charged with terrorism.

The law also provides that herdsmen will bear the expenses of any farm products destroyed by the activities of their herd, adding that anyone convicted of violating the law shall be sentenced to six months in prison without an option of fine.

Following the development, Fulani Herdsmen from Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, but resident in Ekiti State under the aegis of Jamu Nate Fulbe Association of Nigeria have kicked against the law, PUNCH reports.

The association’s legal adviser, Umar Imam said that herdsmen who carried light weapons such as cutlasses, knives, catapults, and arrows within the time stipulated by the new law should not be charged with terrorism, adding that this contradicts the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011.

“The law of the federation on terrorism is very clear and no one can be charged for terrorism for carrying lesser arms like cutlasses, catapults and knives during the grazing period as contained in the Ekiti new law.

I have made it in my submission during the public hearing on the bill in the Ekiti  State House of Assembly that these Fulani herdsmen used to use these lesser weapons for certain purposes that can make grazing easier.

I also told them that movement at night while relocating from one place to another was to ensure that they don’t wreak havoc on the people during the day while relocating to other towns. I expected the state government to have taken care of these in the new law rather than total banning.

What the state government ought to have done is to allow whoever wants to relocate at night to take permit from a certain government’s authority or inform their Seriki (their leader), but banning them from moving at night may not help the situation, it will make their job difficult,” Imam said.

The leader of the association in Ekiti, Alhaji Ahmadu Mahmoud, has also appealed to the governor to review the law and allow his members to carry lesser arms to ward off attacks during grazing.

“We agree with the governor on the grazing period of between 7AM and 6PM, but we should be allowed to carry lesser arms and relocate at night.

How can somebody who wants to carry his cattle numbering hundreds from Ekiti to  places  like Lokoja, Ibadan or Ilorin moves  during the day? These places are densely populated and it will create traffic congestion and confusion everywhere. The government must look into all these,” he said.

10 Comments

  1. ElessarisElendil

    September 1, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    “Lesser arms”. The idiocy!!

    • Uberhaute looks

      September 1, 2016 at 6:55 pm

      The more I hear this grazing stories everyday, the more I’m convinced that a lot of people need psychological revaluation in Nigeria.
      What is the meaning of lesser arms? What happened to Cattle ranching? Nigeria must always prove that backwardness
      There is a saying, ‘Knowledge is Light’. Mr Lawyer, be wise!

  2. Prince

    September 1, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    Then they should remain in their land. Has north become so dry that even grass is no longer growing their. Why moving from state to state.
    Meanwhile, what will a herdsman be doing with an arrow and cutlass/knife. to make his brothers/sisters (the cows) eat better. EVIL PEOPLE

    • Damilola

      September 1, 2016 at 1:14 pm

      There wouldn’t be much problem if they were moving state to state without killings and illegally taking people’s land. But that’s not the case. Fulani herdsmen are lawless group of people, put boundaries on them. If I don’t agree with Fayose on anything, I agree with this bill. this is the right thing to do and I hope other states follow.

  3. keke driver

    September 1, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    Then they should get out of there, go back to their states, abi kilode? Should we leave Nigeria because of you people?

  4. GANNY OGUNSHAKIN

    September 1, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    What has AK-47 or Kalashnikov got to do with rearing Cattles?. This a law I whole
    Heartedly supported. Since these Fulani Heardsmen reared the Cattles for sale. They cannot continue to feed their animals with free food ( grass ) forever. Ekiti State government and other state governments with similar problems needs to invest money to procure grass cutting marchines that will cut, weave and roll these grasses into bails for sale. By doing this government will archive Four things. (1). Create the much. needed employment. (2). Solve the incessant killings attributed to the Fulani Heardsmen. (3). Maintain peace in their State (4). Generate income for the State government. . A word is enough for the wise. I ‘ m just saying.

  5. tunmi

    September 1, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    The imam made sense. Have permits which the herds men must purchase, something like a license. And in the process offer education. These herds men are residents of Ekiti. If the law isn’t modified, challenge it in court.

  6. Err

    September 1, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    Good law,but government must provide adequate security for the herdsmen,so many lost there livestock to criminals,Nigeria is a place where people are their own government,providing light,water,and security.Government must not drive this ones into crime,another set of boko wahala will be too bad for the nation.

    • Manny

      September 1, 2016 at 7:21 pm

      These cows are owned by bloody rich men who can afford to invest in microchips for their cows but would rather maximize their profits by cutting down cattle rearing costs. If they lose their livestock to criminals, they should start investing in what their counterparts all over the world do.

  7. Weezy

    September 1, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    You see what happens when the government takes real action? All of a sudden the herdsmen have “legal advisor”

    Other states need to follow Ekiti footsteps.

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