Hundreds of Fulani herdsmen from various parts of Oyo State on Tuesday converged on Igangan, an agrarian community in the Ibarapa North local Government Area, where they met and resolved to use legal option to stop the Oyo State Open Rearing and Grazing Regulation Bill 2019, which had already passed through second reading at the State House of Assembly.
The bill, which was jointly sponsored by the Speaker of the Assembly, Mr Adebo Ogundoyin, and the Deputy Speaker, Abiodun Fadeyi, had two weeks ago witnessed a public hearing.
The Fulani herdsmen, at their Igangan meeting presided over by the Sarkin Fulani of Oyo State, Alhaji Saliu Abduk-Kadir, described the bill as “too draconian” and targeted at crippling Fulani herdsmen from practising their age-long cattle rearing activities across the state.’’
He said, “We will go to court. We will seek legal redress if Oyo State Government insists on imposing this bill on us.’’
The Oyo State Secretary of Gan Allah Fulani Development Association, Mr Garba Umar, said the Fulani herdsmen had resorted to rejecting the bill because they perceived it as one that would cause serious setback for their means of livelihood.
For the bill to be implementable, the Fulani herdsmen said the Oyo State Government should provide grazing reserves for herdsmen, where there would be easy accessibility to water and grazing facilities.
Failure to do this, the Fulani herdsmen maintained that “the implementation of the bill as it is will cause commotion.”
The communiqué read, “However, if we are pushed to the wall, we know the next level. Our next level is to seek the legal option. We will go to the court of law over the matter.
“But for now, we are begging Oyo State Government to see us as Nigerians and partners in progress who, for ages immemorial, have added values to the economy of the state.”