Oyo bans grazing in public schools, playing grounds

Grazing Reserves

• Prioritise herdsmen’s killings, cleric tells FG
• Minister, farmers disagree over high cost of food crop

The Oyo government has banned grazing in public schools and playing fields in the state. It also ordered the confiscation of any stray cattle as well as arrest and prosecution of erring herdsmen.

The Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Adeniyi Olowofela, who made the announcement at the weekend in Ibadan on the heels of reports that cows invaded some public institutions and localities within the metropolis.

Amid absence of designated grazing zones in the state, he said the herdsmen had been cautioned at different meetings against unauthorised grazing with a view to averting clashes with landowners.

His words: “What happened recently in Edo State has also happened in a school in Ibadan and a few other areas where cows invaded public schools. We will no longer tolerate indiscriminate rearing of cows.

“Stakeholders, including law enforcement agents and farmers, have held several meetings in the past on this matter. We do not want any conflict in any part of Oyo State over cow grazing. Playgrounds in public schools are not grazing fields.

“Henceforth, any herdsman caught rearing cattle in schools and other unauthorised public places will be arrested and prosecuted. Such cows will also be confiscated and used as exhibits. We can live together in peace if we all do not trespass.”

Meanwhile, the Archbishop of the Diocese of Niger Delta North, Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Ignatius Kattey, has blamed the lack of political will from the Federal Government for the needless deaths arising from clashes between the aborigines and the nomads in parts of the federation.

The cleric, who spoke at the weekend in Port Harcourt, Rivers State during the first session of the eighth synod of the diocese, accused the current administration of turning a blind eye to a matter that requires an urgent attention.

According to Kattey,”the claim that the Fulani murderers came from neighbouring countries is definitely begging the obvious that government may have turned blind eyes on the matter.”

He warned that the activities of the herdsmen pose a great danger to the corporate existence of the nation.

In a related development, Nigerian Cassava Growers Association yesterday ascribed the high prices of cassava products to attacks and invasion of farms by nationwide as well as lack of support for value chain on the part of government.

Its national president, Pastor Tayo Adewumi, told The Guardian in Abuja that most of his members were yet to recoup their investments after witnessing several attacks.

But the Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, has blamed the high cost of garri, a staple food, on the manual harvesting method of the crop.

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