The Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, has signed the bill banning the practice of open grazing across the state into law, saying such would prevent protracted herders-farmers crisis in Osun.
As gathered, the governor assent the bill immediately the legal document was transmitted to his office from the state’s House of Assembly.
Following the move, the governor also notified security agencies across the state to begin enforcement of the law with directive that practice open grazing amount to criminal offence in Osun state.
Confirming the development on Wednesday, the governor’s spokesperson, Ismail Omipidan, said that the governor’s assent followed the passage of the bill which sought to regulate animal grazing and establishments of cattle ranches and other related matters by the Assembly.
According to him, we have notified the security agencies that will enforce the law in every part of the state, so, it is a crime to practice open grazing in Osun state.
“Osun State is one of the most peaceful states in the country, we have fewer challenges of herders invading people farm to destroy the crop or attacking farmer because we had in place Committee on Peaceful Co-Existence between Fulani/Bororo and Crop Farmers led by Hon Mudasiru Toogun to foster peace between these communities.
“Before enacting this law, we have summoned stakeholder meeting to deliberate on the matter and we have enlightened the herders in the state on the benefit of embracing ranching system. We have made provisions for the practice of ranching through the ministry of agriculture.”
He added that the law would prevent killings, sexual molestation, protect the environment from degradation and pollution caused by open rearing and grazing of livestock.
“Any person or group who contravenes the provisions of subsections (1) and (2) of this section shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to terms of imprisonment of not less than 3 years without the option of fine as well as forfeiture of the herds of Cattle or livestock under his or her control to the State Government.
“A minor is prohibited from grazing, rearing or herding of livestock except under the supervision of an adult. A minor who contravenes the provision of Section 3 (4) committed an offence, and the guardian or parent of the minor or owner of the livestock as the case may be, shall be vicariously liable on conviction to a fine of N300,000.00 only,” he said.