Following a stakeholders’ meeting held by Fayose with the leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) ,Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose on Thursday released nine cows ‘arrested’ and ‘detained’ in some parts of the state for contravening the Prohibition of Cattle and Other Ruminants Grazing Law back to their owners.
But Fayose reiterated that the only hours allowed by law for grazing in the state remain 7.00 am to 6.00 pm insisting that any cow seen outside the 6.00 pm will be arrested alongside with the superintending herdsman and the owner face a jail term of six months without any option of fine.
“I have decided to release these cows to strengthen our union. So, I expect you to comply with the law because after now if you contravene the law, we will take appropriate sanctions against you.
“You can’t because you are rearing cows be destroying our farmlands. Our people rely on these farms to survive and the moment you are destroying them, then they will not be interested in going into farming and hunger will affect all of us.
”You are all my brothers and there is no reason to trouble you. Many of you have been here for long and your families are here too. Ali Garba from Malumfashi , Kaduna State was part of my first term administration and currently an Igbo man is a councillor in Ward 10 of Ado Local Government. What we are doing today is to ensure a peaceful relationship between you, your host communities and the state government.
“Those killed in Oke Ako are gone and can’t be alive again and we should not allow a repeat of such terrible incident. Ekiti people buy cattle from you and you are making profits.
“We are not asking for much, just for you to obey our law.The law is not targeted at those who obey the law.You have to register with traditional ruler of your host community.
”It is you who will inform the monarch of new faces coming to join you or pretending to be herdsmen. Going armed will not be tolerated. No form of weapon is allowed in Ekiti State for cattle rearing.
“A company will be monitoring your activities from the air. They have done air surveillance of Ijero Forest Reserve and we saw some buildings deep down the forest. We must all be security conscious,” he noted.
Fayose threatened to deal with whoever harasses the cattle rearers while doing their legitimate businesses, urging the leaders of Miyetti Allah to always report directly to him any case of intimidation and oppression against their members.