No fewer than 81 traditional rulers in Ekiti State have rejected the state government’s proposed ranching for herdsmen under the National Livestock Transformation Plan of the Federal Government.
The traditional rulers under the auspices of Majority Obas of Ekiti Land (Mobel) in a letter addressed to the state governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, noted that the moves by the state government would constitute a security threat to lives and property of their subjects, saying the herdsmen are known for violence wherever they live.
The letter dated March 25, 2021, was signed by the Olomuoke of Omuoke-Ekiti, Oba Adebayo Otitoju and the Onikun of IkunAmure Ekiti, Oba David Olusola as chairman and secretary respectively alongside the other 79 monarchs.
The traditional rulers argued that “We are mindful of the security implications and consequences which will be inimical to the security of our people, knowing fully well that majority of our populace is predominantly peasant farmers. We are also not unmindful of the antecedents of some of the Fulani herders, wherever they co-habit with their hosts.
“Since the time it was reported that Ekiti State is favourably disposed to the proposed programme which will lead to the direct occupation of our lands by Fulani herders, we have been inundated with series of complaints laden with fears from our subjects both from home and in the diaspora.”
They called on Governor Fayemi to consider the security of lives and property of the residents in his administration’s policies and programmes, declaring that, ” the proposed programme which we perceive to be another nomenclature for Rural Grazing Area (RUGA)-the widely rejected land grabbing initiative is unacceptable to our subjects.”
The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Olabode Adetoyi had confirmed that the government would be resuscitating the cattle ranch settlements in Oke Ako and Irele as part of measures to provide solutions to the prevalent farmers-herders clashes in the state.
“In Ekiti State now, under the National Livestock Transformation Plan, we are bringing back our cattle ranch settlements at Oke Ako and Irele for whoever wants to graze their cattle. They will register there and provision will be made over there too,” the commissioner said.