The Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has banned grazing and rearing of cattle in the state, saying those interested in cattle farming should get their own private cattle ranch.
The governor, who became the first ever state executive to take such a drastic measure in the country, also said a bill to make the movement of cattle from one location to another criminal in the state would soon be sent to the State House of Assembly.
Governor Fayose, who made this known when he visited Oke-Ako in Ikole local government area of the State that was invaded last Friday by Fulani herdsmen that killed two residents of the town and injured others, warned that government would henceforth confiscate any cattle seen anywhere in the State apart from ranch created for them by their owners.
He described the Fulani herdsmen that attacked Oke-Ako and other communities in the country as “agents of the devil that must be fished out and punished accordingly.”
The governor said, “We will not leave our lands for Fulani herdsmen and in a system where the leadership of the country looks the other way while our people are being killed, we will have no option than to defend ourselves by whatever means.
“I have come here to commiserate with the people of Oke-Ako over the murder of two of our people by these evil Fulani herdsmen.
“I am also here to assure that this will be the last time your community will be invaded by Fulani herdsmen under whatever guise.
“I have directed that cattle rearing and grazing should stop in Ekiti State and those interested in cattle farming should henceforth do so in their own cattle ranch.
“No more movement of cattle from one location to another in the State and any cattle seen anywhere in Ekiti State apart from the ranch created for them by their owners will be confiscated by the government and their owners will be prosecuted.
“A bill to this effect will be sent to House of Assembly for passage into law to criminalise cattle owners whose cattle are found moving from one location the other in the State.
“If President Muhammadu Buhari, who is the patron of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), has refused to call the herdsmen to order, we in Ekiti will no longer harbour herdsmen who go about killing our people, destroying our farmlands and raping our women.
“If the same President Buhari that was so concerned about the killing of Fulani herdsmen in in Saki, Oke Ogun Area of Oyo State such that he, as a private citizen led Arewa to Ibadan on October 13, 2000, to confront the then Governor of Oyo State, late Alhaji Lam Adesina is now keeping silent when the same herdsmen are killing our people, we must rise and defend ourselves.”
“It is our duty to protect our people and we are going to do that without fear or favour.
The governor said the activities of Fulani herdsmen was inimical to the revival of agriculture in the country saying, “one wonders how Nigerians can go back to farming when those already in the farms are losing billions of naira worth of crops to destruction of their farmlands by the Fulani Herdsmen and the Federal Government is not doing anything about it.”