Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun on Thursday signed into law the bill to regulate Animal Grazing and Establishment of Cattle Ranching in Ogun State.
Abiodun, who assented to the bill during a Security Council meeting at Abeokuta, called on the security agencies to swing immediately into action and enforce provisions of the law.
According to a statement, the governor said the legislation was a subject matter that had been discussed along the length and breadth of the country and which, “we southern governors have discussed and endorsed.”
The statement noted that Ogun had enjoyed peace among various ethnic nationalities until the recent farmer- herder skirmishes.
Cattle rearers, according to Abiodun have a six- month period of grace before it becomes illegal in Ogun state for them to occupy unapproved public areas and private land with their livestock for grazing.
The law also prohibits the act of moving cattle around public places by herders.
A committee headed by the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Adeola Odedina, was set up to midwife the implementation and enforcement of the new law.
The signing of the anti-open grazing law by the Governor followed the decision of the Southern Governors’ Forum last August, setting the September deadline to pass the law across Member States.
There were pockets of crises witnessed in the State as a result of alleged open grazing in the Yewa axis of the State in April, necessitating the setting up of a peace committee headed by a former House of Representatives, Hon. Kayode Oladele.
The crises this year had pitched Hausa-Fulani settlers against their Yoruba host communities.
It was expected that the anti-open grazing law will prevent the spread of the menace across the State.
Abiodun said, “By implication, in six months, it will become unlawful to openly graze cattle or other livestock in the state”
The Ogun State House of Assembly had on July 8, 2021, passed the bill.
Speaker Olakunle Oluomo subsequently transmitted a clean copy to the governor for assent.
The bill was passed after unanimous votes by the lawmakers at the sitting where the bill was read the third time.
After signing the bill into law, Gov Abiodun held a Security Council meeting with service chiefs on the way to implement the Anti-grazing law as passed.
It was also an opportunity to send forth the State Police Commissioner, Edward Ajogun who retired from service on October 1.
Describing the retiring officer, Abiodun said he was a dedicated and diligent m police officer and a child of destiny, capable, honest and trustworthy.
“CP Awolowo Ajogun has proven to be a consistent police officer; he is a dedicated police officer; he is very experienced by all accounts; he is very diligent, capable, honest and trustworthy police officer, as a matter of fact, he is a different police officer,” he said.
The governor who also attributed the relative peace being enjoyed in the state to the collaboration of every member of the law enforcement architecture, added that the inter-agency cooperation and collaboration that existed among every member of the state law enforcement architecture wouldn’t have existed if the outgoing commissioner of police wasn’t cooperative.
Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja