Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has vowed that herdsmen caught grazing with arms or any dangerous weapon in the state, would now be charged with terrorism.
He made the assertion while signing the anti-grazing bill into law on Monday in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.
The governor said he sent an Executive Bill to the House of Assembly after what happened in Oke-Ako some few months ago.
Suspected Fulani herdsmen had on Friday, May 20, 2016, invaded Oke-Ako community in Ikole Ekiti local government area of the state, killing two while three others were injured in the attacks.
In the aftermath of the invasion, Governor Fayose had vowed action against killer herdsmen in the state – one of such actions was sending a bill to the House of Assembly to outlaw open grazing in the state.
“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, who signed the bill in the presence of traditional rulers in the state and members of the Assembly, led by the Speaker, Kolawole Oluwawole, pleaded for the support and cooperation of all stakeholders for his administration to succeed.
“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 a certain portion of land to each local governments for grazing”.
Mr. Oluwawole warned that anyone caught leading cattle to graze on portions of land or any farmland not allotted by the 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.
“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 an 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 the option of fine”, he read out parts of the recently signed law.