Operatives of the regional security outfit, Amotekun have arrested some herdsmen and their cows for flouting the anti-open grazing law in Ondo State.
The arrests were carried out in Oke Ala and Iju communities of Akure, the state capital.
In total, four herdsmen and 180 cows were arrested as confirmed by the Commander of the Corps, Chief Adetunji Adeleye.
After the arrest, two of the arrested herders that identified as Abudulahi Sanni and his uncle simply called Baba were said to have pleaded to be forgiven, saying they’ve been living peacefully in Iju for several years.
The herders declared their readiness to pay the assigned fine and compensate affected farmers, saying they don’t want to get into trouble with the state government.
They promised to be more careful in their operations.
Following their appeal, the herdsmen were ordered to pay a specified amount to the state government and also compensate affected farmers for their loss.
The Amotekun Commander said their cows will remain in custody until all fines have been paid.
“We have been living peacefully in this community. We don’t want any trouble with the state government. They have shown us love by accepting us and we are ready to settle out of court and pay any amount for damages done to the farmlands,” they said.
Speaking further on the activities of herdsmen since the anti-open grazing law came into existence in Ondo State, Chief Adeleye observed that some herders were yet to comply with the new law.
He added that they will continue to enforce the law and relate with the Miyetti Allah group to further educate and enlighten their members so as not to fall victim of the law.
He said “We have a number of herders here with us and we are making them comply with the enacted law, which stipulates penalty for defaulting herders. The position of the law is that if they choose to go to court, we will implement the law, which stipulates a minimum of N100, 000 fines or three years imprisonment.
“In most cases, you will see them pleading that such a thing will not happen again. We have informed the leadership of Miyetti Allah to educate their members that the anti-open grazing law of Ondo State is in place.
“When it is done the second time, the person will go to court to face the full weight of the law.
“In the main time, what we have done is to go further to enlighten their people, but we feel we should interface with the leadership of Miyetti Allah.
“We have implored them to educate other members of the Miyetti Allah that the anti-open grazing law of Ondo State is in place.”