Concerned citizens under the auspices of the Iwo Board of Trustees (IBOT) have petitioned the federal government to enact an anti-open grazing law in order to reduce regular farmer-herder conflicts in the South West.
This demand was made during a peaceful ‘coexistence’ meeting between farmers and herders at the palace of Oba Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi, the Oluwo of Iwo.
While describing open grazing as archaic, anti-development, and anti-civilisation, the board’s president, Dr. Oluremi Atanda, urged the government to replace herding with ranching, adding that the future of cattle rearing does not lie in the bush.
According to him, “We task the federal government to legislate on ranching and enact an outright ban on open grazing through legislation. In Iwoland, we are laying a template for herders to raise their cattle in ranches and not traditional open grazing. Governments at all levels are urged to prioritise ranching system to enhance harmonious living between herders and farmers.
“Cattle rearing is a private business. There is no point in using such to disrupt other people’s private enterprises. Iwoland will set a template for harmonious peaceful co-existence between herders and farmers in the promotion of ranching and outright ban of open grazing.”
Also, it was agreed upon that as the current situation in the country becomes palpable, synergy between all the stakeholders, particularly traditional rulers is required.
“We have met our royal father and briefed him on our move to ensure a harmonious relationship between herders and farmers in Iwo land.
“We applaud the stance of Oba Akanbi on peaceful co-existence and we want him to partner with fellow traditional rulers in building a formidable synergy at tackling incessant herdesmen-farmers clashes in the South-West.
“We are a peace loving people and the long-lasting peaceful atmosphere with herders and farmers in Iwo land will continue to be encouraged.”
It was gathered that the Oluwo had earlier stated that open ranching has been his campaign for long, adding that he has been appealing to government and stakeholders to facilitate modern ranching to meet international standard.