Osun State Governor, Oyetola Gboyega
Osun State Governor, Oyetola Gboyega

Fulani-Bororo herders and farmers in Osun State, yesterday, pledged readiness to comply with the anti-open grazing law of the state.

The Fulani-Bororo herders and farmers across the state at a meeting convened by the leadership of the state committee on peaceful co-existence between Fulani/Bororo and crop farmers held at the office of the Special Adviser to the Governor on Civil Engagement, Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, in Osogbo, promised to desist from grazing their cattle openly.

Their heads, otherwise known as ‘Serikis’, who took a turn to speak at the meeting, said they would continue to live peacefully with their respective host communities in the state.

The meeting, convened to sensitise and create awareness of the anti-open grazing law, was attended by Oyintiloye, Special Adviser on Security, Abiodun Ige; Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Adedayo Adewole; Chairman of the Peaceful Co-existence Committee, Mudasiru Toogun and hundreds of Fulani and Bororo residents across the state.

Chairman of Seriki Fulani in the state, Ibrahim Babatunde, said the ban on open grazing would be beneficial to them and that anyone caught flouting the law would be handed over to the government.

“We are happy with this meeting and the anti-open grazing law will benefit us greatly. We have agreed to desist from grazing openly. We will instruct our people to also stop grazing openly and destroying people’s farms. If anyone of us flouts this law by grazing on the road or on the farm, we will apprehend such a person and hand him over to the state government for necessary action.

“We thank the state government because Osun is one of the states that we the Fulani are enjoying peace. We have been living peacefully with our host communities, especially the farmers. We will like to see the governor express our gratitude. This meeting is based on how we will continue with our cattle rearing business through ranching,” he said.

Oyintiloye said the meeting was necessary for Fulani-Bororo herders and farmers to be enlightened on the content of the anti-open grazing law so as not to feign ignorance of it if contravened.

“We engaged the Fulani to operate within the ambit of the new law. Anti-open grazing law is for everyone and it is not to witch-hunt or segregates them. We run inclusive governance,” he added.

The Special Adviser further said: “The government is preparing a soft-landing for them (Fulani-Bororo herders) in terms of where they will be grazing their cattle because there is a portion of the law that gives them the opportunity to acquire land certified by government for them to graze.”

Chairman of the committee, Toogun, who spoke while addressing the non-indigenes, warned against deployment of young boys for open grazing, adding that any young one caught herding would be arrested and the adult that hired such person would also not escape justice.