According to reports, the Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, has inaugurated the state’s Grazing Enforcement Marshals, warning that cattle caught feeding after 6 p.m., would be seized.
He said the state government would collaborate with the police and other security agencies to combat defiant herdsmen. He noted that the marshals would not bear arms and would, therefore, rely on bodies empowered to do so.
The governor reiterated the need to stop innocent people being killed and farmers’ means of livelihood being taken away by armed herdsmen, adding that the life of one citizen is worth more than 10,000 cattle.
He said the law was in the interest of cattle rearers, as their operations would be streamlined.
“On August 29, this year, the Anti-Grazing Bill was passed by the House of Assembly. I signed it into law on August 30. Some people go as far as grazing in the night, when farmers are no longer on their lands. Any cattle found grazing after the time stipulated by the law would be confiscated. Such cattle would be sold or killed on the spot and shared out to people, as part of our Stomach Infrastructure programme,” he said.
Fayose also warned the marshals: “This is not an opportunity to harass or intimidate innocent people. You are to enforce the law, not break it. Anybody found going beyond his bounds would be dealt with accordingly.”
The chairman, Hunters Association, Ikole Local Government Area, Osasona Joseph Olukayode, commended Fayose for the initiative.
He said prompt intervention by the governor in Oke Ako-Ekiti when armed herdsmen attacked people sent a strong signal to lawbreakers to stay away from the state.