The Kwara State Government has banned night grazing as part of an effort to ensure “greater peace between farmers and herdsmen and all members of the society.”
State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, made the announcement on Tuesday during the Expanded State Security Committee meeting in Ilorin.
Alhaji Ahmed said the move was adopted to minimize conflicts between farmers and herdsmen and make it easier to identify, apprehend and prosecute those suspected of destroying herders’ cattle or farmlands and crops, especially in view of the impending farming season.
Explaining the rationale for the expanded security meeting, Alhaji Ahmed said it was to review the current security situation especially with regard to farmers and herdsmen as well as strengthen the existing security in the State.
The Governor said there was the need to improve on security in order to avoid the security scenario experienced in other parts of the country with regards to farmers’ and herdsmen’ clashes which, he said, have security and economic implications beyond the state and even the country.
Briefing newsmen after the parley at Government House, Ilorin, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communication, Dr. Muyideen Akorede, said the meeting, which was chaired by Governor Ahmed and attended by heads of security agencies in the state, chairpersons of the 16 Local Government Councils in the state, first class traditional rulers, as well as representatives of Miyetti Allah Cattle Rearers Association of Nigeria and Association of Farmers of Nigeria, resolved that the platform should be replicated in all the 16 local government councils with traditional rulers and other relevant stakeholders to ensure that the message is disseminated to all citizens and residents across the state.
He added that all security agencies in the state were also mandated to approach any fraction between suspected herdsmen and farmers as an issue of the law without criminalizing any group of people.
According to him, the meeting also advocated the adoption of community policing across local councils in the state to ensure vigilance and information sharing by all residents in order to forestall in acts of criminality.
In this regard, the committee, he said, agreed that no group should be allowed to make any incursions into any of the communities in the state without appropriate profiling in terms of bringing a letter from their former community to respective community traditional rulers for identification and reporting to before they can be allowed to settle in any part of the state.