From Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State, has clarified that the former governor of the state, Mr Ayodele Fayose, proposed the idea of cattle ranches in the state when he (Fayose) included the establishment of cattle ranches in the Anti-Open Grazing Law 2016 he promulgated.
The party called on the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to stop blaming Governor Kayode Fayemi over his proposal that cattle ranches will be established in Ekiti, saying it was contained in the law promulgated by Fayose’s government.
The PDP, had in a statement, by its Publicity Secretary, Raphael Adeyanju, on Tuesday, lambasted Fayemi for proposing to establish cattle ranches in Ekiti so solve the lingering farmers-herdsmen crises.
The party said the proposal if effected would rob many Ekiti citizens of their ancestral lands.
Reacting to the PDP’s vituperations, on Thursday, the APC in a statement by its Director of Media and Publicity, Sam Oluwalana, said cattle ranching will not lead to the loss of our ancestral lands in the state.
“Rather, it will go a long way to stop herdsmen from roaming about and destroying farmers’ crops and property. While defending the cattle ranching policy on social media in 2018, Ayo Fayose said, Here in Ekiti, the Anti Open Grazing law stays. With ranching, cattle farmers will make more money, especially from milk and those who will cultivate grass to sell to cattle farmers will also make money.
“If Fayose, the PDP leader and proponent of the 2016 Anti-grazing Law, is convinced that the Policy is an effective measure towards conflict resolution between Fulani herdsmen and Farmers, who then are these mere rabble rousers in the PDP seeking public attention with unguarded statements?”.
Oluwalana added that Fayemi didn’t conceive the anti-grazing law, rather, the PDP-led State House of Assembly passed the Ekiti State Anti-Grazing Bill which was signed into law by Mr. Ayo Fayose on August 29, 2016 in the presence of more than 3,000 traditional chiefs.
“Cattle ranching is not new, we have always had cattle ranches as far back as the Awolowo era where ranches were setup in Irele—Iyemero—Ikun—Oke—Ako axis. The 2016 Anti-Grazing Law, initiated by the PDP government led by Fayose, stipulates that the state government in collaboration with the 16 local governments should allocate grazing area to the Fulani herdsmen.
“Under this law, nobody is coming to take our land in Ekiti. The 2016 Anti-Grazing Law empowers the governor of Ekiti State to secure farmlands and allocate unused land for cattle ranching.”
Oluwalana stated that as the 2022 become clearer in the horizon, the party is aware that those he described as impostors have started seeking to be relevant, thus attempting to malign the integrity of APC.
“By their antecedents, the only known political strategy they can boast of is to distort, malign, blackmail, or cause strife and heighten tensions with the hope of making the state unliveable for Ekiti people.
“The Fayemi administration is leveraging on the 2016 Anti-Grazing Law to checkmate the level of conflict between herdsmen and farmers, secure farmlands and communities, and enable peaceful coexistence in the state. Adequate security of our people is what concerns the APC most in Ekiti and we want our people to ignore the lies and falsehoods that some ill-minded individuals are spreading around.
“We, therefore, urge the public to please ignore the barrage of propaganda, lies, deceit baseless campaigns of calumny against the person Governor Fayemi the Ekiti State Government, and the All Progressives Congress (APC).”