The Jamu Nate Fulbe Association of Nigeria have criticised a recent anti-grazing law signed by the Ekiti governor, Ayo Fayose.
The herdsmen who are from Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, but resident in Ekiti State, said the issues which they have with the law include the sections which restrict grazing activities to between 7am and 6pm on a daily basis and which forbids herdsmen from carrying any weapons or be charged with terrorism.
“The law of the federation on terrorism is very clear and no one can be charged for terrorism for carrying lesser arms like cutlasses, catapults and knives during the grazing period as contained in the Ekiti new law,” said Umar Imam, the legal adviser to the herdsmen.
Imam also said that “movement at night while relocating from one place to another was to ensure that they don’t wreak havoc on the people during the day while relocating to other towns.” He said that the government ought to have permitted “whoever wants to relocate at night to take permit from a certain government’s authority or inform their Seriki (their leader), but banning them from moving at night may not help the situation, it will make their job difficult.”
The Ekiti law titled, “Prohibition of Cattle and Other Ruminants Grazing in Ekiti, 2016,” provides that any farm products destroyed by the activities of any caught herdsman shall be estimated by an agricultural officer and the expenses of the estimate shall be borne by the culprit.
Under the law, anyone found violating the bill, upon conviction, shall be sentenced to six months in prison without an option of fine.