The Osun State government on Wednesday in Osogbo began the sensitisation of herders on the recently-passed anti-open grazing law.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the sensitisation, which had heads of herders groups in the state in attendance, was organised by the State’s Civic Centre.
The House of Assembly passed the Bill entitled: “Bill to Regulate Animal Grazing and Establishment of Cattle Ranches and other Related Matters’’ on August 12.
Governor Gboyega Oyetola, thereafter, signed the bill into law on September 15.
Speaking at the sensitisation, Special Adviser to Governor Oyetola on Civic Engagement, Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, said the programme was put in place to sensitise herders on the content of the law.
Mr Oyintiloye said the programme was to let the herders understand that the law was not meant to witch-hunt or segregate them in the state.
“There is need for us to sensitise and enlighten them on the content of the law so that they will not run afoul of it and also to tell them that the law is not to witch-hunt them in form of segregation.
“The programme is also to educate them to operate within the ambit of the law and not to claim ignorance of it,’’ he said.
Mr Oyintiloye, who appreciated the herders on the peaceful coexistence with their host communities, appealed to them to try as much as possible to operate within the law.
He said Mr Oyetola would continue to provide enabling environment for them to operate and transact their businesses.
In her marks, Abiodun Ige, Special Adviser to the governor on Security, said farmers and herders should continue to live peacefully in the state.
Mrs Ige said that the law would take its course on anyone that ran afoul of it.
“What concerns security in this matter is that anybody that runs afoul of the law, the law will take its course.
“If farmers and herdsmen have been working together peacefully without a problem, we will still advise they work together without any problem.
“But we do not want any breakdown of law and order. If there is anything like that, the law will take its course.
“We have advised that if there is an issue, they should report promptly to security agencies,’’ she said.
The Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Mr Dayo Adewole, said that the law was not to fight herders but to sustain the peaceful coexistence between them and farmers.
In his remarks, Mudashiru Toogun, Chairman, committee on peaceful coexistence between herders and farmers, also urged herders to continue to coexist with the host communities peacefully.
Mr Toogun said that with the law in place, anyone caught practising open grazing would face the law.
In his remarks, the Seriki Fulani in the state, Ibrahim Babatunde, said herders believed that the law would be of benefit to them.
Mr Babatunde said that herders would educate one another on the law, adding that they would also continue to live peacefully with their host communities.
He appreciated the governor for providing a peaceful environment for herders to operate in the state. (NAN)
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