Withdraw suit against Oyo government, farmers tell Fulani group
We won’t stop case, says Gan Allah
A group, Oke-Ogun Livestock Farmers Association, has implored the Oyo State Chapter of Gan Allah Fulani Development Association of Nigeria to urgently withdraw its suit against the Oyo State government and the state House of Assembly over the recently-passed anti-grazing bill.
But while speaking with The Guardian yesterday, Mr. Garba Umar, who is the state Secretary of Gan Allah Fulani Development Association, said the group would not withdraw the suit until their demands are met.
“No! No! No! We are still on it, challenging the law. Even the case is on this Friday. We’re not withdrawing it. What we need, they haven’t done it first us. That is why we are challenging them in the court. If they do them, no problem,” Umar said.
Chairman, Oke-Ogun Livestock Farmers Association, Alhaji Rasaq Ashirudeen, said the law was in line with the state’s responsibility to protect its citizens, majority of who were farmers.
He spoke while paying a courtesy visit to the Sole Administrator of Iseyin South Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Ajibola Raheem, in Iseyin over the weekend.
Ashirudeen urged Gan Allah to avoid confrontation with the state government with its resolve to approach the court, but rather sit with the government and work on the areas that would affect them in the law.
“We are farmers as well as partners with the cattle herders and owners of livestock, which make people call us ‘Oniso’. We buy from them (Fulani cattle owners) and also plant crops that get destroyed whenever the cattle pass through our farms.
“It is imperative that the Gan Allah do the needful and immediately withdraw the case they took to court against the state, as it is not going to bring about the needed peace. They are Nigerians that can live anywhere in the country but even the constitution of Nigeria does not allow for destruction of others’ property, especially their own means of living.
“We plead with the two parties to reach a truce without either being at the receiving end but Gan Allah should first withdraw their case from the court so that amicable solutions can be found.
“We as livestock farmers have been victims of farm destruction by herders and at times our people also got attacked by the herders when confronted after destruction of farm. We are all looking for economic survival and government will not open its eyes for a party to disrupt the survival of the other.
The group, therefore, urged the state administration to call another extensive stakeholders’ meeting where the content of the bill and its implications would be made public, and where adjustments could be made to secure continued survival of the herders in the state.
In his words, the Sole Administrator, Iseyin South LCDA, Ajibola Raheem, who saluted the courage and the uncommon resolve of the group to say the truth for the sake of peaceful co-existence of the Fulani and farmers in Oyo State, assured the group that the state government was ever ready to accommodate all tribes and nationalities and was willing to do all required for them to thrive in their businesses.