Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti on Thursday inaugurated the Ekiti Grazing Enforcement Marshalls (EGEM), which he said would complement the police and other security agencies in ensuring security of lives and properties of Ekiti people.
He urged them to perform their duties in the overall interest of Ekiti State and its people.
The governor noted that he has taken it upon himself to champion this course of grazing control because no responsible leader will sit back and watch when his people are being killed, their wives and daughters being raped and their sources of livelihood being destroyed under the guise of cattle rearing.
He equally stated that members of the public also have a duty to join in the crusade to free the State from the menace of herdsmen by offering information to the Grazing Enforcement Marshalls.
Fayose recalled that he signed the Prohibition of Cattle and other Ruminants Grazing in Ekiti State Bill, 2016 into law on August 29, 2016, after the bill was duly passed by the State House of Assembly.
The governor said he opined that lives of 5,000 cows cannot be equated with those of human beings that are being killed daily by herdsmen across the country.
“It takes very timid and compromised leaders to allow their people to be killed while they fold their arms on the altar of politics.” He added.
The Ekiti grazing law provides amongst others that; “No person shall cause or permit any cattle or other ruminants belonging to him or under his control to graze on any land in which the Governor has not designated as ranches, no cattle or other ruminants shall by any means move or graze at night and that cattle movement and grazing are restricted to the hours between 7:00 am and 6:00 pm.
The law also prescribed punishments for offenders, such as charging of any herdsmen found in possession of firearms and other offensive weapons with terrorism, payment for property or farm products destroyed by the cattle and the herdsmen and keeping of confiscated cattle at Government cattle ranches.
The governor queried why cattle would be allowed to move freely on the streets, even in the city centres, while other animals are kept in their designated locations”.
He warned those interested in practicing cattle farming to do so at designated locations.