EKITI State governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose has ordered the release of nine cows arrested for contravening the state’s law on grazing to the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, after signing a peace pact with the group. Fayose gave the order yesterday at a peace meeting between the state government and MACBAN, attended by traditional rulers, stakeholders and other interest groups within and outside the state. The governor said the release of the cows was to cement the relationship between the government, farmers and Fulani herdsmen in Ekiti State, warning that the 7am till 6pm grazing period stipulated by the law stands and that anyone who contravened the law would be dealt with.
After signing the pact, the MACBAN later promised to co-exist peacefully with the farmers and residents of the state. The cows were seized some weeks ago by the recently inaugurated Ekiti State Grazing Enforcement Marshal for contravening anti-grazing law. Fayose said: “I have decided to release these cows to strengthen our union. So, I expect you to comply with the law because after now, if you contravene the law, we will take appropriate sanctions against you.” The governor empowered the traditional rulers to enforce the grazing law in their domains and to apportion lands to herdsmen to do their business under a controlled condition. “You can’t because you are rearing cows be destroying our farmlands. Our people rely on these farms to survive and the moment you are
destroying them, then they will not be interested to go into farming and hunger will affect all of us,” he said. The governor threatened to deal with whoever harasses the cattle rearers while doing their legitimate business, and urged the leaders of Miyetti Allah to always report directly to him, any case of intimidation and oppression against their members. Meanwhile, the South-West chairman of MACBAN, Alhaji Mohammed Abass advised governments at all levels against politicising the crisis between his members and farmers in some states. Abass, who said the cattle business was very profitable in the South-West, added that government politicising the agriculture sector would destroy the business and this might have an adverse effect on the diversification process of the government.


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