Insecurity: Ondo approves bill for rearing, grazing of livestock
The Ondo State Executive Council, on Thursday, approved the proposal for a bill for the rearing and grazing of livestock in the state.
The approval, according to the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr Donald Ojogo, who briefed newsmen after the State Executive Council meeting said the presentation of the bill before the state council followed the farmers/herders clashes occasioned by the destruction of farms by herders and their cows.
Speaking on the bill, the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of the state, Mr Charles Titiloye, said that the bill is another step in the implementation of the state governor’s orders to herders who are illegally occupying government forest reserves without proper registration.
Titiloye explained that apart from preventing farmers/herders clashes, the bill would also manage the environmental impact of open grazing and working towards breeding of healthy livestock and modern techniques of animal husbandry in the state.
According to him, the bill contains the establishment of ranches and grazing areas with the sole objectives of preventing the destruction of farm crops and property occasioned by open grazing.
He said the bill also bans the bearing of guns and other ammunitions by any herder in the state, adding that any herder found with guns or other ammunition will be treated as criminal and prosecuted under the law.
He said: “The State Executive Council chaired by the governor approved the bill for a law to regulate rearing and grazing of livestock in Ondo State. The law is also to provide for the establishment of ranches and other matters connected thereto.
“The objective of the law is clear. It is to prevent the destruction of farm crops, community ponds, settlement and property.
“Secondly, the bill is to prevent clashes between herders and farmers and as well to regulate and support the growth of livestock and farming and manage the environmental impact of open livestock grazing.
“The bill is also to prevent, control and manage the spread of disease as well as ease the implementation of policies that will enhance healthy breed of livestock for local and export market and the bill is to promote the modern technique of animal husbandry, particularly rearing of livestock.
He said further “This is another phase of implementation of the order given by Mr Governor that herdsmen should vacate the forest reserves that we bring to bear in Ondo State, the use of modern technology in rearing of livestock, not the other way livestock strays easily along the street, roads and wherein hoodlums, kidnappers now hide under the business to disturb the ordinary citizens of the state.
“By coming up with this law, the governor intends to checkmate the criminal activities of those hiding under the legitimate business of herders in Ondo State to engage in various nefarious activities and act of kidnapping.
“Part of the law is to make it an offence for anybody involved in this business to carry a gun either in the forest or anywhere.
“Herders are not to be seen with any weapon. Violating this will be tantamount to act of armed robbery. And it is also punishable under this law.”
He said the state government has plans to designate certain areas for open grazing, “other areas will also be designated for ranching. Those areas designated for grazing, cattle are free to graze freely in those areas without moving out of the zone while the areas designated for ranching can only accommodate herds of cattle in small numbers. To that extent, you are to get prior consent of the communities that own the land before ranches can be built.
“Not only that, those who have the land must have an agreement with them that the land has been purchased before the ranches will be set up. We are going to grant application to those who had planned to set up ranches. There will be government ranches, private owned ranches based on the government’s approval.
He explained further that two bodies would be saddled with the responsibility for the implementation of this law, saying the first level will be at the state while the second level with be at local government.
“The state-level of the committee will be appointed by the governor while the local government committee will be appointed by the chairman. The governor will give a directive to both the state and local government levels of the committee.”
However, Ojogo disclosed that the State Executive Council has also approved the procurement of additional 20 operational vehicles and 500 personnel for the state Security Network, codenamed “Amotekun.”
He said the development was part of the state government efforts to further strengthen the security outfit for optimum performance and stemming the rising spate of crime and insecurity in the state.
He said the state executive council, noted the efforts and activities of the State Security outfit in combating crime, saying the Amotekun corps needed to be motivated to achieve its mandate.
He said:” The mandate of the cabinet to retrace these two key issues. The cabinet noted the efforts of the governor towards stemming the rising spate of crime and insecurity across the state.
“Council noted the efforts of Amotekun, we noted with delight that Amotekun has made efforts and requires the supports of the citizenry and residents of the state.
“We must support in terms of intelligence gathering for them to operate maximally. The council noted with delight Amotekun’s activities and pass a vote of confidence and give the security outfit a pat at the back.”
He maintained that the ban on movement of commercial motorcyclists between the hour of 6 pm to 6 am is still in force, stressing that offenders would be punished.
He said this is to further tighten the security situation in the state, stressing that there will be no meaningful development without the security of lives and property, and peace in the state.
“The ban on Okada is still in order. The cabinet decided and reinforced that this ban should be reinforced. Okada is mostly used to perpetrate crimes. The ban of movement of Okada beyond 6 pm is reinforced,” Ojogo said.
The Acting Commissioner for Health, Dr jibayo Adeyeye, also warned institutions, churches and mosques against non-compliance with the COVID-19 protocol, saying the government will not hesitate close any church, mosque or school what violates the COVID 19 rules.
He reiterated the efforts of the state government in the fight against Lassa Fever, stressing that the move to eliminate rats has started yielding impressive results.
Insecurity: Ondo approves bill for rearing, grazing of livestock