As part of plans to end the recurrent crisis between farmers and Fulani herdsmen, the Ondo State government has said that all herdsmen and their cattle engaging in grazing are to be registered and identified.
Ondo State Commissioner of Police, Ibifuro-Harrison, made this known on Tuesday at a stakeholders’ forum with farmers and herdsmen at the Police officers mess in Akure, the capital of the State.
Harrison ordered that all herdsmen operating in the state should be registered for identification purposes. She warned that unregistered cattle rearers would not be allowed to operate in the state, adding also that henceforth the head/leaders of the Hausa/ Fulani community where such herdsmen foment trouble would be held responsible for the activities of the herdsmen.
According to the Commissioner of Police, the leaders must know the number of herdsmen in their various camps. They must be registered and have identity cards.
In her speech, the CP said her command could no longer fold its arms and allow the excesses of Fulani herdsmen to go unchecked, while stressing the need for peace and justice in the society, noting that without peace there could not be development.
Harrison urged farmers in the state not to go on any reprisal attack whenever they have issues with the herdsmen, saying “two wrongs don’t make a right” since law and order can never be compromised.
She directed that young children should not be allowed to direct herds of cattle any longer, as many of them were not able to handle the cattle very well.
Stakeholders at the meeting included local farmers, heads of Hausa/Fulani communities across the state, traditional rulers and leaders of Miyyatti Allah.
The Chairman of Ondo State Agricultural Commodities Association, Samuel Olotu, a representative of the farmers, also emphasized the need for all the herdsmen in the state to be identified.
General Secretary of the Mayetti Allah Cattle Traders Association in Ondo State, Baba Umar, also appealed to the government to provide grazing areas for their cattle.
Many farmers in the state have reportedly been engaged in conflicts with herdsmen, who they claim usually invade their farms with their cattle to destroy their crops.