By Nofisat Marindoti
Commissioner for Special Duties in the State of Osun, Hon. Mudashiru Toogun has revealed that there are no plans to enact Anti-grazing law in the State, adding that the adopted traditional ways of settling disputes between farmers and herdsmen have been effective and potent.
He added that such law could be counter-productive with the present atmosphere across the state.
Toogun, who doubles as the Chairman of the Committee on Peaceful Co-existence between Fulani /Bororo and Crop Farmers in Osun disclosed this during a press conference at the Osun NUJ Correspondents’ Chapel in Osogbo.
The Commissioner also stated that the state would soon commence enumeration of cattle to identify strayed cows and their owners for necessary action.
He explained that the process of enumeration would be done by tagging cows with distinct number that suggests traceable owners.
According to him, this is a furtherance of an adopted conflict resolution mechanism in the state with regards to farmers / herders’s co-existence.
Toogun noted that the Aregbesola led administration has been able to maintain relative peace amongst farmers and herdsmen with conscious integration of the Fulani settlers into the society by making provision for necessary and basic needs of the herders.
“In the course of looking for ways in which the relative peace we enjoyed between farmers and herdsmen could be sustained, we discovered important needs of the herders, which include: Water and education.
“The government had sunk over 13 boreholes in various Fulani communities and befitting schools for their children for qualitative education.
“In addition to that, we are embarking on enumeration of cattle in the state for the purpose of linking strayed cows with their owners, which will make amicable settlement of issues of invasion of farms easier and proactive”, he said..
On the idea of State Police, Toogun stressed that state policing remains lasting solution to the menace of incessant clashes between herdsmen and farmers across the country.
” In a situation where arrested herdsmen were set free by the police, citing “orders” from the above for such an action is dangerous and capable of frustrating any move to sustain peaceful co-existence.
“I believe Nigeria needs police institution that understands it’s terrain of operation better and operate in accordance with the norm of its environment.
“For me, State Police is the way to go if we are really serious about resolving this National challenge before it gets out of control.”he added