The “Anti-grazing Law 2016” has come into effect in Ekiti State, Nigeria. Governor Ayo Fayose signed the bill (recently passed by the House of Assembly) into law on Monday, August 29.
Highlights: Anyone caught with arms or any other weapon while grazing in Ekiti State would be charged with terrorism. Local government authorities will allocate portions of land for grazing in their areas, but the time allowed for open grazing is from 7am to 6pm each day. Anyone caught grazing on portions of land or any farmland not allotted by government shall be apprehended and forced to face the law. Any farm crop destroyed by the activities of any apprehended herdsman shall be estimated by agricultural officers and the cost shall be borne by the culprit. Any cattle confiscated shall be taken to government’s cattle ranch at Erifun and Iworoko-Ekiti community in the state. Any herdsman who violates any of these rules shall be imprisoned for six months without option of fine.
The bill was sponsored by the executive after the killing of two people by suspected herdsmen in Oke-Ako community in Ikole LGA.
Many commentators have praised Fayose and Ekiti State for their courage and asked states like Enugu (where herdsmen killed three last week and over 40 in April) to follow in Ekiti’s footsteps so as to provide security for their people.
The law is not in conflict with any federal law or any provision in the Nigerian constitution.