Following the controversy over the Anti-Open Grazing Bill passed into law few days ago by the Oyo State House of Assemly, the Mogaji Abose compound in Olubadan traditional lineage, Chief Adegboyega Adegoke, has appealed for caution on the part of the Government and various Fulani Herdsmen Associations.
While speaking with journalists on Sunday, Adegoke, who is the Executive Director Finance and Chief Financial Officer of OES Energy Services, said this issue of grazing calls for wisdom, deep consultation and mutual understanding in the interest of all.
Particularly more involvement and commitment of prominent traditional rulers, community leaders, religious leaders and the stakeholders towards finding lasting solution to possible controversy that may arise on the issue.
It could be recalled that the Oyo State House of Assembly penultimate Friday passed the bill 24 hours after Fulani herdsmen from various parts of the State resolved to use legal option to stop its passage.
However the lawmakers maintained that passage of the bill would foster peace and promote agricultural business in the state, noting that it is to avoid continuous damages and end loss of lives and unquantifiable investment to constant clashes between herders and farmers.
Mogaji Abose said a common ground can be found to resolve the controversy, stating that meetings should be held to sort out gray areas in the interest of the masses, the government and the herdsmen living in the state.
Chief Adegoke said Fulani herdsmen have been living peacefully in the state with indigenous farmers for years, to the extent that there were inter marriages until recently when open grazing became an issue.
According to him, “I want to appeal to our listening government to still give the herdsmen another chance by inviting them to roundtable discussions to sort out gray areas in the interest of the good people of the state”.
“I believe that the bill passed by our lawmakers is not targeted at anybody or tribe but to find lasting solutions to the disagreement that always occur between the herdsmen and their host communities. In this wise, there is still need for a dialogue to arrive at mutual understanding by the warring parties.
“This issue is a sensitive one which needs wisdom, deep consultation and mutual understanding to resolve the gray areas amicably in the interest of the masses.
“The government and herdsmen can take a cue from the Benue state example where government and herdsmen recently sat at a roundtable with the herdsmen apologizing to the government for opposing the state’s anti-open grazing law while the government also agreed to accommodate them as one family.”