Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has vowed that herdsmen caught grazing with arms or any weapon in Ekiti would now be charged with terrorism.
The governor made the declaration while signing the anti-grazing bill into law on Monday in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.
“My government took the bill to the House after what happened in Oke-Ako some months ago,” he said.
“The House has passed the bill and I have to assent to it. It becomes a law from today that if you do anything to the contrary you will be punished by the law.
“Any herdsman caught with firearms or any weapon while grazing in Ekiti now will be charged with terrorism.”
Mr. Fayose signed the bill in the presence of traditional rulers in the state and members of the House of Assembly, led by the Speaker, Kolawole Oluwawole.
“I solicit your support for this government to succeed,” the governor said. “This is not about party politics and Ekiti should be our primary concern. I’ll continue to call you for this kind of meeting every three months to give accounts of governance.”
Shedding light on the contents of the new law, the Speaker said the state government was already working with local government officials to mark out portions of land for grazing to all local government authorities in the state.
“Grazing activities must be from 7am to 6pm on daily basis,” he said. “The government shall allot certain portion of land to each local governments for grazing.”
He noted that anyone caught leading cattle to graze on portions of land or any farmland not allotted by government would be apprehended and made to face the law.
“Any herdsman caught with firearms and any weapons whatsoever during grazing shall be charged with terrorism,” Mr. Oluwawole.
“Any cattle confiscated shall be taken to government cattle ranch at Erifun in Iworoko community.
“Any farm products destroyed by the activities of any caught herdsman shall be estimated by agricultural officer and the expenses of the estimate shall be borne by the culprit.
“Any herdsman who violates any of these rules shall be imprisoned for six months without option of fine.”