By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo
Osun State government has assured the Fulani community in the state that the recently-passed anti-open grazing law was not to witch-hunt or victimise them.
The government said the law was signed to sustain the peaceful coexistence between farmers and Fulani herdsmen in the state.
It will be recalled that the state House of Assembly on August 12, 2021 passed the bill entitled: “Bill to Regulate Animal Grazing and Establishment of Cattle Ranches and other Related Matters” which was thereafter signed into law by the Governor Gboyega Oyetola on September 15.
Speaking during an engagement and enlightenment programme with the Fulani community, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Civic Engagement, Hon. Olatunbosun Oyintiloye noted that Oyetola’s administration appreciated the harmonious and cordial relationship between the government and Fulani community in the state.
Oyintiloye who said that government would continue to do everything within its power to protect and preserve the relationship, noted that the governor does not condone tribalism, nepotism and stereotype consideration in the affairs of the state, emphasising that all residents in the state have equal rights to enjoy as citizens.
In their separate remarks, Commissioner for Land and Physical Planning, Nathaniel Agunbiade; Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Dayo Adewole and Chairman Committee on Peaceful Coexistence between Fulani/Bororo and Crop Farmers, Mudasiru Toogun respectively underscored the essence of the new grazing law.
They described the law as a legal framework to regulate the business activities of all herders in a manner to avert communal clash and also to promote the existing peaceful coexistence.
They also reiterated the commitment of Oyetola’s administration to protect the interest of all irrespective of any ethnic or sectional consideration.
In his submission, the Seriki of Fulani community in the state, Alhaji Ibrahim Babatunde appreciated Oyetola for organizing the enlightenment programme.
Babatunde said the sensitisation would further strengthen their relationship with the government, saying the governor would always be commended for peaceful coexistence enjoyed in the state.
He described the new grazing law as one which would serve as a strong protection not only for their herding businesses but also their entire community.
He assured the government of their maximum cooperation and support all the time.