Governor Ayodele Fayose has said that anyone interested in cattle rearing in Ekiti State must register with the government through traditional rulers.
The governor, who said this during the signing of an agreement between the state government and the Miyyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria in Ado Ekiti on Thursday, ordered the release of nine cows earlier seized by his government for illegal grazing.
Those present at the peace parley were traditional rulers, leaders of the Fulani community in the state and government officials.
Speaking at the meeting on Thursday, the governor said he called for a broader meeting to carry all the stakeholders along in the implementation of the grazing law.
He added that those playing politics with the controversy that initially trailed the implementation of the law were only being mischievous.
He said, “You are all my brothers and there is no reason to trouble you. Many among you have been here for long and your families are here too. What we are doing today is to ensure peaceful relationship between you, your host communities and the state government.
“Those killed in Oke Ako are gone and can’t be alive again and we should not allow a repeat of such a terrible incident. We are not asking for much, just for you to obey our law. The law is not targeted at those who obey the law. You have to register with the traditional ruler of your host community.
“It is you who will inform the monarch of new faces coming to join you or pretending to be herdsmen. Going armed will not be tolerated. No form of weapon is allowed in Ekiti State for cattle rearing. A company will be monitoring your activities from air. They have done air surveillance of Ijero Forest Reserve and we saw some buildings deep down the forest. We must all be security conscious.”
Fayose gave a 14-day ultimatum for the registration of herdsmen and to be forwarded to the state government.
He ordered the immediate release of cows already seized by the Grazing Marshals, but warned that any further violation of the law would not be tolerated.
The governor promised an annual reward of N500,000.00 to herdsmen in violent-free communities.
The South-West Chairman of Miyetti Allah, Alhaji Mohammed Abass, warned the government at all levels against politicising the crisis between his members and farmers in some states.
He said, “We are peace-loving people. We don’t want war, conflict and bloodshed. I have been living in Abeokuta since I was born there 43 years ago. I don’t have a place to go.
“Politics should be removed from agriculture. It will damage it. We don’t want politics in our business.”
Speaking on behalf of traditional rulers in the state, the Ajero of Ijero Ekiti, Oba Adebayo Ajewole, said the governor spoke the minds of Ekiti people.