The Oyo State government has warned that herdsmen found shepherding cows into public schools in the state will be arrested and prosecuted.
A statement released on Sunday by Yomi Layinka, media aide to Governor Abiola Ajimobi, noted that the State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Adeniyi Olowofela, gave the warning at a press conference in Ibadan.
Mr. Olowofela gave the warning against the backdrop of reports that cows allegedly invaded some public schools in Ibadan and other areas recently.
The commissioner warned that herdsmen found converting students’ playground to grazing fields will be arrested for prosecution, while the straying cattle will be seized as exhibits.
The statement explained that although the state had no designated grazing zones, herdsmen in the state have been cautioned at different meetings from straying into unauthorised places to feed their cattle to avert conflict of interest with farmers and property owners.
“What happened recently in Edo State has also happened in a school in Ibadan and few other areas where cows invaded public schools,” Mr. Olowofela said.
“We will no longer tolerate indiscriminate rearing of cows. Stakeholders, including law enforcement agents and farmers have held several meetings in the past on this matter.
“We don’t want any conflict in any part of Oyo State over cow grazing. Playgrounds in public schools are not grazing fields.”
Mr. Olowofela, the statement said, urged herdsmen across the state to comply with the government’s directive or face the wrath of the government.
“Henceforth, any herdsman caught rearing cattle into schools and other unauthorized public places will be arrested and prosecuted,” he warned.
“Such cows will also be confiscated and used as exhibits. We can live together in peace if we all don’t trespass,” he added.