Oyo government to compensate farmers over damage caused by herdsmen

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Oyo governor, Seyi Makinde, says his administration is considering paying compensation to farmers who have been victims of damage caused by herders in the state.

Open grazing of cattle has been a source of conflict between local farmers and nomadic herders as farmlands are usually damaged in the process.

The conflict also sometimes leads to bloodshed, a situation that led to tribal tension in the Ibarapa and Oke-Ogun zones over the past week.

A political enforcer, Sunday Igboho, ordered herders, usually of the Fulani tribe, to leave the state or face the wrath of the local people, an eviction order that enjoyed public support but earned him caution from state and federal authorities.

Makinde said in a statement on Wednesday, January 27, 2020 that stakeholders agreed on numerous resolutions during a meeting involving the government, representatives of Igangan, Ibarapaland, and security stakeholders.

He said farmers who have been killed or lost their livelihoods to criminal trespass and damage by herders are being considered for compensation by his administration.

All suspects arrested for criminal activities in the affected zones are also facing prosecution in connection with the ongoing tensions in the area.

Makinde said the government will continue to enforce the Oyo State Open Rearing and Grazing Regulation Law which regulates the activities of herders in the state.

The governor said stakeholders resolved to redeploy 200 members of the Oyo State Western Nigeria Security Network, codenamed Amotekun, to restore law and order in kidnapping and banditry hotspots in the state, especially in the Ibarapa and Oke-Ogun zones.

“These operatives will launch missions to rid the forests of criminals. They will be presenting daily reports of their activities to me in the short run and periodic reports in the long run,” he said.

Makinde said the Oyo government will also proceed with the documentation of foreigners, especially those who are working in mines.

The governor promised to hold town hall meetings and community outreaches to address any immediate concerns of residents and resolve issues through dialogue and more effective community policing.

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