Governor of Ondo State, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, on Tuesday, defended the decision of his administration to outlaw open grazing in the State, saying the decision is purely meant to protect the lives of the people of the region at all cost, not to harm certain groups who seemed more concerned about their cows.
National President of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Bello Abdullahi Bodejo, had in an interview with Daily Sun, said a cow may not mean much to other Nigerians, but to a Fulani, it is worth more than a hundred human lives.
He said, “Fulani are settling in every community, but we are not claiming land, we are only interested on how our cows will have food to eat.
Fulani can’t value 100 people’s lives like he can value his one cow because since he was born, he doesn’t have any business except that cow. The cow is like his own brothers and sisters. If anything happens to his cow, do you think he can leave you?
“You have two or three storey buildings and you park your cars , do you fold your hands and watch somebody come to that house carry your cars, your clothes, your wife, destroy the buildings? You must fight. The Fulani man values his cow just as you value your brother and sister and you go all out to protect them.
“They love their cows beyond description, you can’t separate them from their cows to go and stay inside town or city. The cows have names. The way you give your children names when they were born is the same way they name their cows.
“Even a person who has one thousand cows, those cows have individual names and he knows them by name; the cows have fathers, grandfathers and grandchildren. What you have in human beings – the ways names are given to people, the same way Fulani give names to their cows.
“We are cow lovers , that is why sometimes if you kiII their cows somewhere they go there to look for justice, because they see like somebody has kiIIed their brothers; they must go to see who did that and they won’t leave that person.”
However, Akeredolu who is the Chairman of South-West Governors Forum, while receiving the Pastorate of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry, led by the State Overseer, Pastor Jacob Asubiojo, in his office in Alagbaka, Akure, said he understands that some people are not pleased and are against the anti-open grazing law.
The governor disclosed that the leadership and members of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) in the state have shown readiness to key into the new development and cooperate with his administration on the open grazing ban.
According to him, the state government has established synergy with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to train herders on feedlot and new technologies of cattle rearing.
He said: “I want to urge you to intensify your prayers for us. We need it. You have referred to our efforts in trying to secure this our homeland. We have made efforts, we established Amotekun and banned open grazings.
“It is not what is pleasing to everybody. Some people are not pleased with us. We are ready to stand by it and face whatever it will cost us. Pray for us.
“Amotekun and the anti-open grazing law are not pleasing to some people and they are gathering together, planning evil. Pray for us. Their evil will not work.
“What we are saying is that your herds cannot keep destroying our crops. The FAO has come and we have discussed it. The Meyetti-Allah here in Ondo appears to want to cooperate with us because they know that when their cows destroy crops, we seize their cows and they pay the farmers before they are released.
“The FAO will train them on how to do feedlot. They will be trained to make feed and take it to the cows. We are not discriminating against anybody.
“We just want to make it clear that you can’t make your own ends meet and destroy other people’s source of livelihood. We know your prayers are very important to us. We need it.”