Oyo State Government has advocated for peaceful co-existence over cross-border transhumance between Nigeria and Republic of Benin to checkmate the activities of herdsmen in the West Africa.
The Secretary to the State Government, Mr Olalekan Alli stated this while receiving the delegates from Republic of Benin who were on working visit on management of cross border transhumance between the two Countries, at the conference Hall, Office of the Governor, Secretariat, Ibadan.
Mr Alli noted that the tripod agenda of Governor Ajimobi led administration in Oyo State is based on the restoration of peace, safety and Security of lives and properties of the Citizens.
According to him, “Transhumance is the movement of livestock from one grazing ground to another in a seasonal cycle, typically to lowlands in dry season and highlands in rainy season had led to vices such as kidnapping, banditry and destruction of farmlands by herdsmen which cause frosty relationship between border communities”
He explained that there has always been misunderstanding between the herdsmen from Benin Republic and Farmers at Atisbo, Iwajowa and Saki West Local Government Areas of Oyo State which has discouraged farmers in these areas from investing maximally on Agricultural farm produce.
Alli reiterated that the State Government will continue to adopt various methods of managing Farmers and herdsmen crisis in the State, through regular meetings with the concerned stakeholders to ensure harmonious relationship between them.
Earlier in his remark, Director of Cabinet, Ministry of foreign Affairs, Republic of Bennin, Mr. William Comlan stated that the aim of the visitation was to dialogue and sign agreement on how to curb conflict caused by the transhumance between farmers and animal rearers in order to maintain peace between the two countries.
He appreciated the Oyo State Government for making the State comfortable for Benin citizens and ensures smooth relationship between Benin republic and Oyo State.
He explained that the Government of Benin Republic will collaborate with the State Government at curbing some of the challenges facing the Oyo State through borders and strengthen bilateral relationship between them.
At the end of the meeting, the communiqué drafting committee agreed as follows; There shall be collaborative efforts between both countries to reduce transhumance conflicts between her citizens; There shall be continuous engagements between both countries on transhumance issues within its borders; There shall be no night grazing by any herdsmen; The countries also agreed on further engagement on Revenue issue; All herdsmen passing through both Countries must possess valid traveling document; Both Countries shall re-establish the international transhumance Cattle route; No underage person shall be allowed to graze animal; There shall be labeling of animals for ease of identification; All herdsmen from both Countries must register with the local village heads, Local Government authority and relevant cattle breeders Association; No herdsman shall rear and roam more than fifty Animal at any given time; The two Countries shall ensure the establishment of Desk Officers in both Countries; There shall be due observance of ECOWAS Protocols in the movement of herdsmen of both Countries; There shall be continuous enlightment campaign by both Countries; There shall be no carrying of arms, ammunitions and weapons by any herdsman; The two parties agreed to respect the geographical limit fixed by the two Countries on transhumance issues.