Tuesday, April 26, 2016 11:53 pm
*Governor launches agricultural programme
Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has said that the proposed creation of grazing zones across the country is ill-advised, warning that the proposal is against the spirit of the land use act and the overriding public interest.
The governor bared his mind on the raging controversy trailing the alleged sponsorship of a bill at the National Assembly for the creation of grazing zones for cattle across the country as a panacea to the perennial clash between trespassing herdsmen and farm owners.
Ajimobi spoke during the launch of the ‘AgricOyo,’ the Oyo State agriculture initiative, held at Paago, via Iseyin, in Oke Ogun zone of the state, on Tuesday.
At the event were investors, outgrowers, beneficiaries, institutional partners, outtakers, traditional rulers, and top officials of the state.
The governor said: “This is the time to call a spade a spade. Those clamouring for creation of grazing zones across the country should have a rethink. It is against the Land Use Act; it is against the law of natural justice to seize people’s land to cater for someone’s cattle.
“Grazing zones could be created for those who are traditional cattle rearers in their areas. I’m not against that. But, you cannot come here and tell me you want to occupy our land for grazing zones. The land exists in our respective states and as such the rightful owners should decide what to do with them.
“Anybody outside this zone willing to rear cattle here will need to approach the state to buy the land and we offer what is available with rules. There is no free land for grazing zones. We need to take this firm position. It won’t happen.”
On the new agriculture initiative, the governor was upbeat that it would create one million direct jobs across the agric value chain thereby taking many unemployed youths off the streets.
Ajimobi was also hopeful that the state would become the food basket of the Southern part of the country in the short run when the programme commenced in full swing.
The state nurses the ultimate ambition of feeding the entire country.