OGUN RESIDENTS OPPOSE BILL SEEKING TO GIVE GRAZING ROUTES TO HERDERS

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Widespread opposition greeted a new bill that seeks to establish grazing routes for herdsmen in Ogun.

On Wednesday, stakeholders, including farmers and cattle breeders, rejected the grazing routes proposed in the Animal Grazing and Cattle Ranch Establishment Bill, being considered by the Ogun House of Assembly.
They called for the designated routes in the bill to be expunged at a public hearing organised by the House at the assembly’s complex in Abeokuta.
Abiodun Ogunyemi and Abel Solanke, both cattle breeders and Kuforiji Oluwadamilare of the Animal Scientists Association of Nigeria, insisted that individuals interested in cattle rearing should acquire land from the state government for the establishment of a ranch, to put an end to frequent clashes between farmers and herders.
Another cattle breeder, Olusegun Osinowo, stressed the need for the government to ease acquiring the Certificate of Occupancy and other necessary documents to establish ranches.
The Chairman of the Coalition of Civil Societies in Ogun, Yinka Folarin, canvassed demanded punitive provisions for herders caught with guns and other dangerous weapons, from 10 to 21 years’ imprisonment.
The Chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria(MACBAN) in the state, Abubakar Ibrahim, accompanied by the Seriki-Fulani, Kabir Mohammed, promised to present their position paper to the House on the bill.
Earlier, Olakunle Oluomo, the Speaker of the House, who presided over the public hearing, promised that lawmakers would consider the suggestions made at the public hearing and accelerate the bill’s passage ahead of the farming season.
The sponsor of the bill, Ganiyu Oyedeji, explained that the bill was part of proactive measures by Ogun lawmakers to forestall criminal activities of herdsmen and frequent farmer-herder violent clashes.

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