The Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has banned grazing and rearing of cattle in the state, saying those interested in cattle farming should get their own private cattle ranch, reports NaijaAgroNet.
The governor, disclosed this after visiting some victims of herdsmen attack in Oke-Ako in Ikole Local Government Area (LGA) of Ekiti State, said, a bill to make the movement of cattle from one location to another criminal in the state would soon be sent to the State House of Assembly.
Governor Fayose, lamented the invasion of the community last Friday by Fulani herdsmen which resulted in the two deaths in the community and injured others, warned that government would henceforth confiscate any cattle seen anywhere in the State apart from ranch created for them by their owners.
He described the Fulani herdsmen that attacked Oke-Ako and other communities in the country as “agents of the devil that must be fished out and punished accordingly.”
For him, Ekiti citizens will not leave their lands for Fulani herdsmen and in a system “where the leadership of the country looks the other way while our people are being killed, we will have no option than to defend ourselves by whatever means.
“I have come here to commiserate with the people of Oke-Ako over the murder of two of our people by these evil Fulani herdsmen. I am also here to assure that this will be the last time your community will be invaded by Fulani herdsmen under whatever guise.
“I have directed that cattle rearing and grazing should stop in Ekiti State and those interested in cattle farming should henceforth do so in their own cattle ranch.
“No more movement of cattle from one location to another in the State and any cattle seen anywhere in Ekiti State apart from the ranch created for them by their owners will be confiscated by the government and their owners will be prosecuted.
“A bill to this effect will be sent to House of Assembly for passage into law to criminalise cattle owners whose cattle are found moving from one location to the other in the State.
"We in Ekiti will no longer harbor herdsmen who go about killing our people, destroying our farmlands and raping our women. It is our duty to protect our people and we are going to do that without fear or favor.
The governor said the activities of Fulani herdsmen was inimical to the revival of agriculture in the country saying, “one wonders how Nigerians can go back to farming when those already in the farms are losing billions of naira worth of crops to destruction of their farmlands by the Fulani Herdsmen and the Federal Government is not doing anything about it.”
Governor Fayose, in a press statement made available to NaijaAgroNet, promised to complement the efforts of the local hunters provided a Pick Up Van, raised the sum of N2.5m for them and advice the hunters to work hand-in-hand with the security personnel for the safety of the community. He also raised the sum of N2.5m for the affected families.
“I want to say it very clearly, everything you want me to do towards a safe environment, I will do. Because the moment you are not secured then I had better resigned as a governor.
“If I cannot provide adequate security for you, it is better for me to leave this office. The only reason you voted for me is because you know I am competent to do the needful in circumstances like this. Nobody will take Ekiti away from us.
The governor visited the hospital where some of the injured were receiving treatment and in the course of interacting with the Doctor realize the importance of relocating them to Ekiti State Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti where adequate treatment can be delivered on them and also promised to refer them to OAU Teaching hospital if need be.
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Pix: Gov Fayose with local hunters in Oke-Ako during his visit.