According to Punch publication Fulani herdsmen from Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, but resident in Ekiti State under the aegis of Jamu Nate Fulbe Association of Nigeria have criticised the new grazing law signed by Governor Ayodele Fayose.
The law titled, “ Prohibition of Cattle and Other Ruminants Grazing in Ekiti, 2016,” provides that grazing activities must be from 7am to 6pm on a daily basis.
According to the Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Kola Oluwawole, any herdsman caught with firearms and any weapons whatsoever during grazing shall be charged with terrorism.
The law also provides that any farm products destroyed by the activities of any caught herdsman shall be estimated by an agricultural officer and the expenses of the estimate shall be borne by the culprit.
Under the law, anyone found violating the bill, upon conviction, shall be sentenced to six months in prison without an option of fine.
But the legal adviser to the herdsmen, Mr. Umar Imam, on Wednesday argued that herdsmen who carried light weapons such as cutlasses, knives, catapult and arrows within the time stipulated by the new law should not be charged with terrorism.
He added that this contradicted the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011.
Imam said, “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 the 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. Read from Punch