Nigeria

Ondo to auction confiscated cows, prosecute herders

The Northern Governors Forum says the current system of open grazing, operated by herders in the country, is no longer sustainable.

Ondo State Security Network, codenamed Amotekun, yesterday, vowed to auction confiscated cows and prosecute herders who destroy farmlands in the state.

The State Commander of Amotekun, Adetunji Adeleye, who spoke at the signing of an agreement for the release of over 250 cows arrested by the corps, said: “We would no longer allow negotiation for compensation for farm crops destroyed by cows, resulting from illegal grazing on people’s farms.

“Rather, the state government would, henceforth, prosecute owners of seized cows and auction seized animals after getting a court order.

Adeleye said the Amotekun Corps arrested over 250 cows, following a distress call and petitions by farmers in Ipogun, Ilara, Owena Dam axis in Ifedore council area of the state.

He said: “Apart from eating up the leaves and stems of the plants, the herders uprooted cassava, cocoa yam and yam tubers, which they used in feeding their cows, and also took to their camps to feed on.

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“I was amazed when I saw the level of destruction and stealing that they did in this current case.

“When we got to the farm, the herders started by attacking us. They later ran away, but we succeeded in arresting two of them.

“They are in our custody. We also arrested over 250 cows, which we brought to our premises here.

“When this latest incident happened, we brought them together and said unless they signed an undertaking, that after this operation, Amotekun will no longer allow settlement of farmers, henceforth.

“We will charge them to court and auction the cows. That is the position of the state government and the Amotekun Corps from now.”

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“Any herder that destroys farmlands and crops now would be arrested, the herders would be prosecuted, the cows would become the government property and would be auctioned because the window of love we showed them, they are not reciprocating by complying with the agreement reached with the farmers.”

The Chairman of the Myetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, MACBAN, Alhaji Garba Bello signed for the herders, while Mr. Odeyemi Joseph and three others signed for the farmers.

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