The Oyo state government at the weekend said a bill that will end clashes between farmers and herdsmen in different parts of the state would be ready before the administration of the Governor Abiola Ajimobi of the state elapses in May.
It stated that its effort at ensuring peaceful coexistence between farmers and herders through a regular stakeholders’ meeting is already yielding positive result.
Special Adviser to Gov. Ajimobi on Community Relations, Mr Abidemi Siyanbade made these disclosure at the stakeholders’ meeting organised by the state Police Command in Ibadan.
He assured that the law would be passed before April 30th.
Siyanbade said, “The government has made a lot of progress in dousing the incessant conflict between the farmers and herders in this state.
“And before the end of this month, grazing control bill to address the issues between farmers and herders will be passed by the house of assembly. We will also ensure that the peace committee meeting at the local government levels will be revived.
“The grazing control law will address how cattle can be brought into the state and how herders will register. We will no longer allow cows to me moved into the state on the feet or roaming but through vehicles and truck.”
The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Shina Olukolu, in his welcome remark, identified certain issues that had contributed to the crisis to include: mutual suspicion between farmers and herders, impatience, the roles of mischiefmakers among others.
He condemned the use of minors as herdsmen and warned that both the farmers and herders must not let the long standing relationship between them be sacrifice on the basis of their means of livelihood.
Olukolu said, “The use of minors who have no ability to control the animals, gives room for the animals to unwittingly stray into farmers land to wreak havoc.
“Sometimes, the minors deliberately allow the cattle stray into farm lands and at other times, it goes beyond their control but we need patience and understanding to have lasting peace.”
The Chairman, All farmers Association of Nigeria in the state, Mr Adeniji Moses assured that the law had remained the only hope of a lasting solution on the issue of recurring crisis between the farmers and the herders.
State chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Yakubu Bello commended the Oyo state police for organising the stakeholders’ meeting, noting that the bane of the problem had been impatience on the part of both parties any time issues arise.