Oke-Ogun Livestock Farmers Asks Miyetti Allah To Withdraw Case Against Oyo Govt.
…Urges Amicable Resolution Through Dialogue
*Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde
A group, Oke-Ogun Livestock Farmers Association has called on the Oyo State chapter of Miyetti Allah to urgently withdraw their legal suit against the State government over the signing of the State’s Anti-grazing bill to law.
The State government has recently signed the bill to law after the State’s House of Assembly passed the bill which opposed open grazing by herders, due to incessant clashes between farmers and cattle herders and loss of lives and farm products.
The bill has made it illegal for herders to graze on farmlands but sought the need for them to secure lands where cattle could be fed and bred without the herd entering farms to destroy crops.
The Chairman, Oke-Ogun Livestock Farmers Association, Alhaji Rasaq Ashirudeen said the law was in line with the State’s responsibility to protect its citizen, majority who were farmers.
He said this while paying a courtesy visit to the Sole Administrator of Iseyin South Local Community Development Area (LCDA), Hon. Ajibola Raheem in Iseyin over the weekend.
Ashirudeen called on Miyetti Allah to avoid confrontation with the State government with its resolve to approach the court, but rather sit with the government and work on the areas that would affect them in the law.
“We are farmers as well as partners with the cattle herders and owners of livestock, which make people call us ‘Oniso’, we buy from them (Fulani cattle owners) and also plant crops that get destroyed whenever the cows pass through our farms.
“It is imperative that the Miyetti Allah do the needful and immediately withdraw the case they took to court against the State, it is not going to bring about the needed peace, they are Nigerians that can live anywhere in the country but even the constitution of Nigeria does not allow for destruction of others’ property, especially their own means of living.
“We plead with the two parties to reach a truce without either being at the receiving end but Miyetti Allah should firstly withdraw their case from the court so that amicable solutions can be found.
“We as livestock farmers have been victims of farm destruction by herders and at times our people also got attacked by the herders when confronted after destruction of farm, but we are all looking for economic survival and government will not open its eyes for a party to disrupt the survival of the other.
“I am sure our Governor, who has been seen as a peace-loving and welfarist will be willing to accommodate whatever the herders are bringing to the negotiation table so that it will be a win-win situation, the cattle owners have to show some level of understanding for the government’s drive towards peaceful coexistence of citizens, even while we all go about our businesses, they have to give something to gain something,” he pointed.
The group therefore called on the State administration to call another extensive stakeholders’ meeting where the content of the bill and its implications would be made public, while areas where adjustments could be made to secure continued survival of the herders in the State.
Oke-Ogun Livestock Farmers Association hailed the State governor for his interest in boosting agricultural revolution through farm settlement programs.
He said the group believed true empowerment of farmers would foster economic diversity and engender mass employment and financial freedom for the people of the State.
In his words, the Sole Administrator, Iseyin South LCDA, Hon. Ajibola Raheem saluted the courage and what he called an uncommon resolve of the group to say the truth for the sake of peaceful coexistence of the Fulani and farmers in Oyo State.
He assured the group that the State government was ever ready to accommodate all tribes and nationalities and was willing to do all required for them to thrive in their businesses.
“The State governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde has never missed any opportunity to make the people of the State know of his love for peace, which we all know is the driver of economic growth.
“With your appeal to the Miyetti Allah, I wish they heed to it and meet with the government to fashion out the best way out to do their business without having problem with farmers.
“No country in the world, not to talk of a State will experience growth in an atmosphere of panic and crisis,” he submitted.