Herdsmen: Ekiti House Passes Law Prescribing 6-Months Jail Term For Open Grazing

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By Nuel Suji – A bill that criminalizes grazing of animals in places other than designated places in Ekiti State has been passed to law by the State House of Assembly, even as the lawmakers said it would curb incessant herdsmen-farmers clashes in the State.

A herd of cattles

The law when assented to by the State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, makes it an offence for any herdsman caught grazing cattle, sheep and goats openly on the streets in Ekiti State.

The State lawmakers, in a unanimous voice vote, Thursday, passed the Bill which seeks to regulate public grazing in the State, prescribing six months jail term for any offender.

The final passage followed the submission of report of Joint Committees on Agriculture and Environment by its Chairman, Mr Ayodele Fajemilehin, to committee of the whole House.

The Speaker Mr. Kola Oluwawole, who presided over the plenary said the bill would now reduce the incessant clashes between farmers and herdsmen in the State.

The law titled: “Prohibition of Cattle and Other Ruminants Grazing in Ekiti, 2016″, states that anyone found violating the bill upon conviction shall be sentenced to six months in prison without option of fine.

It stipulates that “The Governor shall by an order designate land in each of 16 Local Government Areas in the State in respect of which Cattle or Ruminants may be permitted to graze.

”No person shall cause or permit any cow, oxen, sheep as well as goat under his or her control to graze on any land in which the Governor has not designated as ranches” among others,” it further read.

The bill forbids movement of cattle by herdsmen and owners of goat in the Ekiti after 6 p.m.

“No cattle or other ruminants shall by any means move in the night, movement shall be between 7am and 6pm”.

Meanwhile, the Assembly observed a minute silence in honour of the four persons who lost their lives Wednesday night when their boat capsized at Egbe Dam in Gbonyin Local Government Area of the State.

Hon. Gboyega Aribisogan, a member representing Ikole Constituency II had earlier called the attention of other members to the mishap, describing the situation as putting the State in mourning.

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