The Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, has said anyone who kills a herder’s cow in the state will spend a year in jail.
He said the punishment would be spelt out in the review of the anti-grazing law of the state.
Mr. Fayose gave the hint when he visited Ipao Ekiti, the community where suspected herdsmen murdered a farmer, Tunde Olayemi, 32, on Sunday in Ikole Local Government Area of the state.
The large number the people, who trooped out to welcome the governor, carried placards describing their displeasure at the sad development.
The governor said the law prohibiting open grazing of cattle will be amended to punish anybody who wilfully killed any cow or causes malicious damage to property.
According to Mr. Fayose, the state government will soon organise a summit of stakeholders to find a lasting solution to incessant clashes between farmers and cattle rearers in the state, especially in Ikole Local Government Area.
While meeting with leaders of the town, Mr. Fayose promised to set up a five-member committee that would investigate the root cause of the killings in the town.
On the need for a stakeholders’ meeting, the governor said it had become necessary as Ikole LGA had become notorious for clashes between farmers and herders.
“It is a very unfortunate incident because we thought we have got over such type of event,” he said.
“Two years ago, a similar event happened here. We have been proactive and we thank the security people. They deployed immediately they were contacted. We won’t leave anything to chance.
“We value life and we will leave no stone unturned. We will set up a committee to look into the matter here in Ikole Local Government. We will reach out to cattle rearers and their leaders and other parties concerned to resolve the matter.
“We don’t want to have a mindset against anybody. We will ensure balance. The five-man committee will look into the matter and find a lasting solution. We will call on the leadership of the herders and farmers as well as community leaders to deliberate on the way forward.”
The governor appealed to the people of the area not to take the law into their hands and not to resort to self help.
He also promised to compensate the bereaved family and affected Fulani herdsmen who lost their cattle.
The governor also said he would amend the anti-grazing law such that anyone who kills herdsmen’s cows would be jailed for a year.
He appealed to the people of Ipao and their leaders to ensure that there was no reprisal.
“I appeal to you to ensure you live peacefully with the Fulani herdsmen in your community. We want a peaceful situation and don’t allow any reprisal,” he appealed.
“We will investigate and get to the root cause of this sad development and particularly why this community has become a flashpoint so we can find a lasting solution to it.
“The security operatives have been deployed into your town and would secure the place.”
Also speaking, the Commissioner of Police, Ekiti State Command, Abdullahi Chafe, said no arrest had been.
He expressed the readiness of his men to maintain law and order in the area, assuring that he was holding a meeting with all other security operatives, such as the State Security Services, Civil Defense Corps, army and the mobile police on how to mobilise their officials to secure the community.
Also, a detachment of soldiers from the Army Brigade in Akure, Ondo State, was also deployed.