The Director General, Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission, Mr Seye Oyeleye has explained how the frequent skirmishes between farmers and Fulani herders can be nipped in the bud.
Oyeleye said this while featuring on a weekly radio show, Parrot Xtra Hour on Radio anchored by Olayinka Agboola, on the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State’s Oluyole 98.5 FM Ibadan, on Monday evening.
The DAWN DG said governments at all levels in Nigeria should make urgent arrangement to stop open grazing, adding that in the 21st century, nobody should be engaging in this practice.
He said: “Governments at all levels and stakeholders in the agricultural sector should accept and embrace modern methods of cattle ranching to solve the recurrent problem of collision between farmers and herders”.
Oyeleye also took time to speak about the agenda that brought Lagos State into the fold of O’dua Investment Company, after it was initially excluded by past western states’ leaders.
He said the coming on board of Lagos State is already adding more economic benefits to O’dua, DAWN commission and the sister states including Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti, while attesting to the fact that Lagos State is fourth biggest economy in Africa.
According to him: “It is only logical that the governors decided that Lagos should be brought on board at O’dua and DAWN Commission did a lot of work in the background because Lagos State is an integral part of Yorubaland. It is a logical thing for the five states to collaborate and work with Lagos.”
On what led to the establishment of the commission, he said it was established to promote and engender cooperation and faster development among the six states in the western part of Nigeria, since they have the same economy, culture, challenges and speak the same language.
He equally avowed that the six states have been speaking with one voice in several areas in relation to the recent developments that was experienced by the collaborating states, which led to the ban placed on all forms of open grazing in all parts of the South West as adopted by all stakeholders during the recently held governors’ meeting in Akure, Ondo State.
“Prior to the coming of DAWN, the six states did not have any formal avenue to meet. The coming of the commission created an official platform for the states to come together on a regular basis to work towards economic development,” Oyeleye said.
On restructuring of the country being clamored for by the people of the western states, the DAWN boss stated that Nigeria is not a truly federal state. He noted that the powers given to the federal government by the constitution made it too powerful and this has not helped the states, adding that his commission is working on advocacy to ensure that the yearnings of the people of the region are respected.
He condemned the 1955 Railways Act that gave only the federal government the exclusive rights to the building of railways.
While addressing the issue of the South West Security Network, codenamed Amotekun, he stated that the governors must be given kudos for implementing the idea, praising them for their determination to see to the success of the project despite the teething problems encountered at the initial stage.
Oyeleye, however, disclosed that the commission is open to receiving support from well-meaning Nigerians and private sectors in terms of technical and financial help, admonishing that the governors should do more to ensure that the commission is well funded.