Ekiti-based herdsmen from Ilorin, Kwara State, have criticised the new grazing law in Ekiti State saying, carrying lesser arms does not constitute offence under the country’s constitution Terrorism Prevention Act 2011.
The body, under the aegis of the Jamu Nate Fulbe Association of Nigeria, said the provision in the new law may not apply to the members of the association who only carry light weapons.
The legal adviser of the association, Mr Umar Imam, who spoke with journalist yesterday in Ado Ekiti, noted that herdsmen who carried light weapons like cutlasses, knives, catapult and arrows within the time stipulated by the new law cannot be charged with terrorism, as it does not contradict the Terrorism Prevention Act 2011.
Governor Fayose had on Monday signed into law, a bill tagged “Prohibition of Cattle and other Ruminants Grazing in Ekiti Bill, 2016, which prevented free grazing of cattle in the state and carrying of firearms by members as well as restriction of grazing period to between 7am and 6pm as passed by the state House of Assembly.
Any herdsman found with arms during grazing, according to the law,would be charged with terrorism and be jailed for six months without an option of fine. The law also restricts grazing period to 7am to 6pm and banned night grazing.
Imam, who maintained that the Terrorism Prevention Act of 2011 clearly what constituted an infringement of the law and that carrying of lesser arms does not constitute offence under the provision said, “The law of the federation on terrorism is very clear and no one can be charged for terrorism for carrying lesser arms like cutlasses, catapults and knives during the grazing period as contained in Ekiti new law.
“I have made it in my submission during the public hearing on the bill in the Ekiti State House of Assembly that these Fulani herdsmen used to use these lesser weapons for certain purposes that can make grazing easier.