The Southwest Governors have banned open grazing of cattles in all the six states that make up the geopolitical zone. The states are Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo States.
According to a communique at the end of the meeting between the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) and the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MICBAN), both parties have agreed to the prohibition of night grazing and illegal occupation of forest reserves in the Southwest region of Nigeria.
The meeting also resolved that grazing by under-aged herders was prohibited.
The governors in attendance at the meeting included Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi, Mohammed Abubakar of Jigawa and Gboyega Oyetola of Osun.
Others were Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State and former deputy governor of Osun, Senator Iyiola Omisore.
Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, and Chairman, Nigeria Governor’s Forum, who read the communique said that free-range grazing must be stopped to avoid conflicts between farmers and herders.
Fayemi urged MACBAN to embrace and be committed to modern breeding process by creating grazing reserves and practice ranching to prevent cattle roaming about.
The governor, who said MACBAN also suffers insecurity and kidnapping, expressed confidence in peaceful moves by the states to engender security and economic opportunities in the country.
According to him, the order of Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State was misconstrued and misrepresented by a section of the media, “as he only ordered those occupying the forest reserves in Ondo State illegally to quit.
“No one has sent anyone away from any state or region but all hands must be on deck to fight criminality,” he said.
Open grazing had been responsible for clashes between herders and farmers in the region. The rising cases of kidnapping and sundry crimes in the region had also been linked to the activities of criminal elements who masquerade as herdsmen in their host communities.
Violence had erupted in Igangan, Ibarapa, on Friday when a popular Yoruba rights activist, Sunday Adeyemo, well known as Sunday Igboho, alongside his followers, stormed the Fulani settlement in the ancient town to eject Seriki Fulani, Salihu Abdukadir, and herdsmen accused of perpetrating crimes ranging from kidnappings, killings, rape to the invasion of farmlands with their cattle.