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Anti-Grazing Law: Umar Imam Opposes Fayose’s terrorism charge on Fulani Herdsmen

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Ado-Ekiti – The Legal Adviser to the Ekiti State chapter of the Jamu Nate Fulbe Association of Nigeria, an umbrella body for herdsmen based in Ekiti State, Mr. Umar Imam, has said it was wrong for Governor Ayodele Fayose to charge erring member of the association with terrorism for carrying light weapons.

Imam said that herdsmen who carried light weapons such as cutlasses, catapult, arrows and knives within the time stipulated by the new law cannot be charged with terrorism. Imam added that acting contrary in the guise of any state law will negate the Anti-Terrorism Law as contained in the Constitution. Fayose had on Monday signed the “Prohibition of cattle and other Ruminants Grazing in Ekiti Bill, 2016 to Law, which prevented free grazing of cattle in the state and carrying of firearms by herdsmen as well restriction of grazing period to between 7am and 6pm.


Six months jail term was laid out by the law without option of fine to any herdsman, who circumvents the law. Speaking with Vanguard in Ado Ekiti yesterday on the contentious issue, Imam said the Anti-Terrorism Law of the Federation stated clearly what constituted an infringement of the law and that carrying of lesser arms does not constitute offence under the provision.

Also, the Seriki of the Association in Ekiti, Alhaji Ahmadu Mahmoud, appealed to Governor Fayose to amend the new law, so that his members can be allowed to carry lesser arms to ward off attacks from robbers. Fayose Mahmoud, who praised Fayose over the time allotted for grazing in the law, added that outright banning of night movement will make their jobs difficult and create more confusion than being expected.

According to the Legal Adviser to the Ekiti State chapter of the Jamu Nate Fulbe Association, “The law of the federation on terrorism is very clear and no one can be charged for terrorism for carrying lesser arms like cutlasses, catapults and knives during the grazing period as contained in Ekiti new law. “I have made it in my submission during the public hearing on the bill in the Ekiti state House of Assembly that these Fulani herdsmen used to use these lesser weapons for certain purposes that can make grazing easier. “I also told them that movement at night while relocating from one place to another was to ensure that they don’t wreak havoc on the people during the day while relocating to other towns.

I expected the state government to have taken care of these in the new law rather than total banning. “What the state government ought to have done is to allow whoever wants to relocate at night to take permit from a certain government’s authority or inform their Seriki, but banning them from moving at night may not help the situation, it will make their jobs difficult”, Imam said. In the words of the Seriki of the Association in Ekiti, “We agree with the Governor on the grazing period of between 7am and 6pm, but we should be allowed to carry lesser arms and relocate at night. “How can somebody who wants to carry his cattle numbering hundreds from Ekiti to places like Lokoja, Ibadan or Ilorin moves during the day? These places are densely populated and it will create traffic congestion and confusion everywhere. The government must look into all these”, he stated. 


Article Credit: Vanguard Newspaper

Updated 2 Years ago

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Tags:     Ayedele Fayose     Anti-Gazing Law     Seriki     Fulani Herdsmen     Ekiti     Umar Imam