Hundreds of Fulani herdsmen from various parts of Oyo State yesterday converged on Igangan, an agrarian community in Ibarapa North Local Government area, resolving to employ legal means to stop the State Open Rearing and Grazing Regulation Bill 2019 which already scaled second reading at the State House of Assembly.
The bill which was jointly sponsored by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Adebo Ogundoyin and his deputy, Hon. Abiodun Fadeyi, was criticised by the Fulani, being led by the National Chairman of Gan Allah Fulani Development Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Sale Bayari, who in an 18-page position paper presented at that forum, stated that “it is impossible in our country for any peasant small scale herdsman to go into ranching.”
According to Bayari, the bill if passed into law would punish poor herders.
At their Igangan meeting held at the popular Kara Market in Igangan, presided over by the Sarkin Fulani of Oyo State, Alhaji Saliu Abduk-Kadir, it described the Oyo State Anti-Open Grazing Bill as “too draconian” and targeted at crippling Fulani herdsmen from practising their age-long cattle rearing activities across the state.
The group said: “We will go to court. We will seek legal redress if Oyo State Government insists on imposing this Bill on us. The implementation of the Bill as it is will cause commotion. If we are pushed to the wall, we know the next level. Our next level is to seek legal option. We will go to the court of law over the matter.
“It is also a matter of fact that we Fulani dominate large percentage of voters in Oyo State. Government only recognises us during electioneering and voting periods. Government is not giving us any facility or loan to boost our cattle rearing business while the farmers on the other hand, get agric loans, fertilizers, etc.
Is this the only way the government is now repaying us for our patriotism?”
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