5 Years Jail Term For Offenders of Open Grazing in Oyo State!

Open #Grazing Prohibition Task Force in Oyo State will ensure:Anyone who rears or grazes cattle or any other livestock openly in any part of Oyo State now risks at least five years jail term or a fine of N500,000 or both if found guilty of the offence.The #bill passed on Thursday 24th, October 2019 by the House of Assembly, Oyo State states that cattle movement is only permissible by rail wagon, truck or pick-up wagon, between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., while any person found moving livestock on foot is liable on conviction to imprisonment for five years or a fine of N500,000 or both.The proposed law also prohibits a minor from grazing, herding or grazing of livestock except under the supervision of an adult, while the minor or owner of cattle is liable on conviction to a fine of N300,000 or three years imprisonment or both.It also recommends that cattle owners are restricted to grazing livestock in approved ranches, while persons wishing to set up ranches are to obtain a permit from the state government for a period of three years, with renewal subject to the approval of the landowner.The proposed law also empowers the state governor to revoke the permit, without compensation, to the herdsman for any breach of security.It further recommends N200,000 fine and two years imprisonment for any herder or cattle rearer found guilty of failure to register with the state Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.It also stipulates that any herdsman who causes injury to any person is liable upon conviction to imprisonment for five years or a fine of N500,000 or both, while such person who causes the injury shall be allowed to pay the medical bill of the injured person(s).It states further that whenever any livestock strays into any person’s land other than a ranch and causes destruction of crops, the herdsman who is the owner of the livestock is liable to pay compensation to the owner with valuation to be determined by the Oyo State Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.If the onslaught leads to death of any person, the herder(s) upon a conviction will be sentenced for manslaughter under the criminal code law.It prohibits the sale, transfer or mortgage of any land leased to herdsmen for the purpose of ranching. It recommends that the Oyo State Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development shall be empowered to impound any livestock found grazing or wandering or herding in an area not permitted as a ranch.It states further that impounded livestock not claimed within seven days will be sold on auction to the public and the proceeds paid into the state’s coffers.For these provisions to be enforced, the bill recommends the establishment of a task force to be named, “Open Grazing Prohibition Task Force.”The “Open Grazing Prohibition Task Force” which will see to the implementation of the law, would comprise representatives of the state government, security agencies, farmers’ association, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, vigilante and the judiciary.The Oyo Assembly passed the bill despite the threat. The Assembly argued that the law will foster peace and promote agricultural business in the state.The House noted that the bill which was passed to avoid continuous damages and end loss of lives and clashes between herders and crop farmers.The speaker, Mr Ogundoyin, appealed to residents of the state to ignore falsehoods and misconceptions about the bill.He said a public hearing was held in which critical reviews and opinions of all concerned stakeholders, individuals, groups and experts were accommodated and considered before been passed into law.“We assured the people that all suggestions and memoranda of understanding submitted by various groups, agencies and representatives of different communities and tribes on the open rearing and grazing regulation bill 2019 were painstakingly looked into before it was passed into law.“I am appealing to everyone to shun the rumour spreading that the law is to make life and business unbearable for some targeted group or set of people, rather it seeks to promote peace among residents and different tribes in Oyo state,” he said.He maintained that the House of Assembly through the law was only seeking legal framework to address the issue of open rearing and grazing as well as encourage and protect the economic activities of others who are into agricultural-related ventures and the residents.“Both herders and crop farmers are farmers, and because laws are made to correct, definitely we do not expect it to favour anyone 100 percent. I implore them to embrace developmental changes this law is bringing into the agricultural business after it enactment.“Let us consider partnership, cluster farming, cooperative ranches and other helpful methods that are working in successful neighbouring country.“If we truly desire development and growth in our agriculture, then we have to get ready and adopt new strategies to boost our produces and reduce lost of resources and lives,” he saidCopied from Lashley Oladigbolu timeline

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