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Mr Ayodele Fayose Ekiti State Governor, has today inaugurated the Ekiti
Grazing Enforcement Marshalls (EGEM), the body  with the
responsibility to enforce recently signed Prohibition of Cattle and other
Ruminants Grazing in Ekiti State Law, with a mandate to rid the State of
the menace of herdsmen and declaration.
Here is Governor Fayose’s speech at the inauguration.


Today, we have taken another bold step aimed at safeguarding the lives
and properties of the people and residents of Ekiti State by
inaugurating the Ekiti Grazing Enforcement Marshals (EGEM) and equipping
them adequately.

Recall that I signed the Prohibition of Cattle and other Ruminants
Grazing in Ekiti State Bill, 2016 into law on August 29, 2016, after the
bill was duly passed the State House of Assembly.

The law provides amongst others that; “No person shall cause or permit
any cattle or other ruminants belonging to him or under his control to
graze on any land in which the Governor has not designated as ranches,
no cattle or other ruminants shall any means move or graze at night
and that cattle movement and grazing are restricted to the hours between
7:00 am and 6:00 pm.

The law also prescribed punishments for offenders, such as charging of
any herdsmen found in possession of firearms and other offensive weapons
with terrorism, payment for property or farm products destroyed the
cattle the herdsmen and keeping of confiscated of cattle at
Government cattle ranches.

In doing this, we opined that lives of 5,000 cows cannot be equated with
those of human beings that are being killed daily herdsmen across
the country and it takes very timid and compromised leaders to allow
their people to be killed while they fold their arms on the altar of

Supporters and beneficiaries of open grazing have argued that cows, like
human beings have rights to move freely in any part of Nigeria and one
question I have always ask is; what happens if poultry farmers, pig
farmers, ostrich farmers or even snake farmers decide to exercise this
same rights to freedom of movement of their animals?

Imagine a situation where snake farmers also release their snakes to the
streets and other people’s farmlands to look for what to eat as being
done cattle farmers.

The reality we must all face is that cattle farming is not different
from fish farming, snake farming, poultry farming, snail farming, etc.
Therefore, if fish farmers are providing their own ponds and poultry
farmers building their own pens, while also buying feed for their
animals, there is no reason cattle farmers should not also provide their
own ranch and feed their cows without encroaching on other people’s

Isn’t it even shameful that in this age that people celebrate their city
centre, we now adorn our own with cows and their dung, such that cows
are even competing space with human beings in the Federal Capital
Territory (FCT) and other cities in the country?

Therefore, here in Ekiti, if you must practice cattle farming, you do so
at designated locations. We have taken it upon ourselves to champion
this course of grazing control because no responsible leader will sit
back and watch when his people are being killed, their wives and
daughters being raped and their sources of livelihood being destroyed
under the guise of cattle rearing.

In line with the law, any cow found destroying people’s farmlands will
be confiscated and sold with proceeds handed to people whose farmlands
were destroyed while herdsmen found with arms will face terrorism

The police and other security agencies have the duty to enforce the
Prohibition of Cattle and other Ruminants Grazing in Ekiti State Law,
2016 as well as other laws duly made the State, seeing to it that
offenders are arrested and prosecuted accordingly.

To complement the police and other security agencies, we have set up the
Ekiti Grazing Enforcement Marshals (EGEM), trained them and have them
well equipped. I therefore inaugurate them today and urge them to
perform their duties in the overall interest of Ekiti State and its

Members of the public also have a duty to join in the crusade to free
our State from the menace of herdsmen offering information to the
Grazing Enforcement Marshals. In this regard, telephone numbers will be
made available to the public.

Once again, I thank you for your support at all times and as your
governor, it is my duty to protect your lives and properties and no
matter the situation, I will never shy away from this responsibility.
……I am best networks wish them well and pray that things take proper shape…

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