By Bamidele Moses
Osun State House of Assembly has directed that a Task Force be set up to monitor and control the entry and exit of cattle herdsmen into the state.
The Speaker, Honourable Najeem Salaam gave the directive at a meeting with the State Committee on Peaceful Co-existence between Fulani/Bororo and Crop Farmers, as well as officials of the state Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.
He said, the directive followed the report of indiscriminate grazing of farmland by Fulani herdsmen with their cattles across the state.
He said the two major entry points of the herdsmen into the state, which are Iwo and Ila axis, should be properly manned by the task force to control their movement.
According to him, the herdsmen could not be left uncontrolled while the crops that have been worked hard to produce by farmers are being grazed indiscriminately.
The Speaker stressed that, “the activities of the herdsmen have been denying the farmers equitable returns on their investment in farming, mostly through loan from banks and cooperatives.
While cautioning the herdsmen, Salaam, tasked the officials of the ministry to put into use, the already trained youths to engage in producing crops that are mainly meant for feeding cattles.
He said, this would not only generate revenue for the state, it would also create employment for the youths.
The speaker also said there is the need to engage the normadic in training to be on the same page with the government and ensure peaceful coexistence in the state.
He also encouraged Agricultural Officers in the state to be up and doing in generating new ideas that could arrest the trend.
The Speaker reportedly maintained that the measure would also safeguard the investment of the state government which empowered the farmers in the state through provisions of loans and farm inputs.
He stressed that the insensitivity of the herdsmen and continual grazing of farmland were capable of truncating food security programme of the government and weaken the resolve of the farmers to do more.
While speaking, the Chairman, Committee on Peaceful Coexistence between Fulani/Bororo and Crop Farmers, Honourable Oguntola Toogun regretted that most farmers were now being discouraged due to the grazing of their crops.
He also expressed worry over attacks on famers by the herdsmen, after grazing their farmlands with cattle.
Toogun then suggested that since the issues of herdsmen was a national problem, enabling laws should be enacted by both the state and National Assemblies to proffer lasting solution to the issue.