Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has kicked against the proposed creation of grazing zones across the country, warning the fulani herdsmen to steer clear of his state. According to the governor, the decision is ill-advised and is against the spirit the land use act and overriding public interest.
Airing his mind during the launch of the ‘AgricOyo,’ the Oyo State agriculture initiative, held at Paago, via Iseyin, in Oke Ogun zone of the state, on Tuesday, Ajimobi said the alleged sponsorship of a bill at the National Assembly for the creation of grazing zones for cattle across the country is a panacea to the perennial clash between trespassing fulani herdsmen and farm owners.
“This is the time to call a spade a spade. Those clamouring for creation of grazing zones across the country should have a rethink. It is against the Land Use Act; it is against the law of natural justice to seize people’s land to cater for someone’s cattle.
“Grazing zones could be created for those who are traditional cattle rearers in their areas. I’m not against that. But, you cannot come here and tell me you want to occupy our land for grazing zones. The land exists in our respective states and as such the rightful owners should decide what to do with them.”
The governor also said that: “anybody outside this zone willing to rear cattle here will need to approach the state to buy the land and we offer what is available with rules. There is no free land for grazing zones. We need to take this firm position. It won’t happen.”
For the incessant clashes between farmers and cattle herdsmen in the country to be brought to an end, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, had said the federal government would take a cue from Saudi Arabia by creating grazing areas in the country where the fulani herdsmen would take care of their cattle. He said:
“We will grow grass in the South to feed the cattle in the North, just as Saudi Arabia did.”
The Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, has warned that the increasing cases of herdsmen attacks in most parts of the country should be looked into, as it threatens the existence of Nigeria.