Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu on Tuesday signed the Anti-Grazing Bill passed by the Ondo State House of Assembly into law.
The State House of Assembly had in July passed the bill to ban open grazing in the state following months of repeated clashes between residents and nomadic Fulani herders.
The legislation criminalises open grazing of livestock and establishes framework for construction of ranches in the state.
Chairman of House Committee on Agriculture Taofeek Oladele had presented a report on the bill at the parliament.
While presenting the report on the bill, Mr Oladele said that the legislation will tackle the frequent farmer-herder clashes, which have led to the loss of lives and property in the state.
The lawmaker said the bill will bring peace and encourage agriculture practices in the state.
Signing the bill into law on Tuesday, Mr Akeredolu said that the move was in line with the resolution of the Southern Governors’ Forum at its last meeting in Lagos.
The governor, in a press statement issued by information commissioner Donald Ojogo in Akure, noted that the Southern Governors’ Forum had set September 1, 2021 as the deadline to sign the bill into law. “The move is in line with the resolution of the Southern Governors’ Forum at its last meeting in Lagos where September 1st was set as the deadline for Governors in Southern Nigeria to sign the Anti-Open Grazing Bill into law.
“This is worthwhile and a very laudable development aimed at stemming needless instances of skirmishes, conflicts as well as infractions on the enviably peaceful disposition of the good people of Ondo State.
“It is very pertinent to aver and indeed, reiterate that the Law shall rather, engender a more cordial, mutually benefiting relationship amongst residents of the State irrespective of ethnicity, religion, or creed. For emphasis, no particular group of persons is the target.
“While it is the hope of Government that all residents would take ample advantage of this Law to enhance our socio-economic well being in Ondo State, compliance of same shall be given the utmost attention.
Government shall pursue with vigour, through lawful means, to ensure strict compliance.
“In this regard, details of the new Law shall be made available to the public for proper information, more depth of understanding on contents as well as other relevant areas”, the statement said.
Similar laws have been signed in Benue, Ekiti and other southern statements amidst scramble to contain the frequent deadly attacks linked to killer herdsmen.