See what Ekiti State is doing to Herdsmen now
Ekiti State Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Olabode Adetoyi, has said registration of herders and farmers in the state, would not only help to fish out criminal elements but would also ensure the security of lives and property and as well increase crop food production.
He linked the diminishing food production in Nigeria to insecurity which had kept many farmers away from the farms.
Speaking in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, on Thursday, during the commencement of registration of herdsmen and farmers in the state, Adetoyi warned that stiff penalties awaited anyone who refused to register and get the identity card in line with the stipulations of the state Anti-Grazing Law.
The occasion was attended by government functionaries, traditional rulers and the leaderships of herders, farmers and various ethnic nationalities including Fulani, Hausa, Ebira and Igede among others.
The commissioner said other steps being taken by the state government to ensure lasting peace between herders and farmers included “ban on night grazing and using under-aged herders in Ekiti State. I will implore the herders not to run foul of the Anti-Grazing Law.
“Part of the essence of the registration is to increase food security in Ekiti State. Food rate is just growing at 2.5 per cent, our population is increasing at 2.8 to 3 per cent, the food requirement is at 3 or 3.2 per cent.
“The essence of this now is that there is a demand supply gap and we need to close it. What is causing it is insecurity and we want to tackle it headlong in Ekiti State so that people can be able to go back to the farms and produce in higher quantity and quantity.
“In Ekiti State now, under the National Livestock Transformation Plan, we are bringing back our cattle ranch settlements at Oke Ako and Irele for whoever wants to graze their cattle. They will register there and provision will be made over there too.
“We want peace in Ekiti and with this registration, we are forging ahead to ensure permanent peace between herders and crop farmers,” he said.
The Special Adviser to Governor Kayode Fayemi on Security Matters, Brig. Gen. Ebenezar Ogundana, said that with the registration, “We intend to know who are staying with us legitimately in the state. Anybody who does not want to register will not have a place to stay here.
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Ogundana, who said that it was always difficult tracing the source of the incessant sources to any domain, said, “But with this development now, it brings a sense of responsibility so that herders will know their cattle should not destroy farms and farmer will no longer attack cattle”.
The Chairman, Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers, Oba Adebanji Alabi, lauded the step taken by the state government to register the herders and farmers, saying, “It is a good step in a good direction”.
Alabi, represented by the Onisan of Isan Ekiti, Oba Ayodele Adejuwon, said, We believe that if we can implement it, it will bring an end to the problems of farmers herders crises. If we are able to know them, we will be able to identify whoever among them that is criminal and we will be able to know those that are doing the right thing”.
The Seriki Fulani and Miyetti Allah leader, Alhaji Adamu Abashe and the State Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Alagbada Adeniran, praised the registration exercise.
While Abashe sought unity among the various ethnic nationalities promising that he would hand over anyone that refused to register to the state government, Alagbada suggested that time for ripe for the herders to embrace modern methods of cattle rearing through ranching.