No fewer than 80 traditional rulers in Ekiti State have rejected the federal government’s National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP), insisting that the new scheme is still the Rural Grazing Area (RUGA).

They described the new livestock plans as a land grabbing initiative.

In a letter to the Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, the royal fathers, under the aegis of Majority Obas of Ekiti Land (MOBEL), said the scheme would bring about Fulani herders’ occupation of their land.

MOBEL Chairman and the Olomuooke of Omuo-Oke Ekiti, Oba Adebayo Otitoju; Secretary and the Onikun of Ikun-Amure Ekiti, Oba Olatunde Olusola; and 79 traditional rulers, signed the letter, dated March 25, 2021 and titled, ‘Rejection of the proposed Federal Government’s livestock scheme in Ekiti State by MOBEL’.

They said NTLP was unacceptable to them and as well their subjects.

“We vehemently oppose surrendering/acquisition of our land to be used as grazing reserves for herdsmen under the proposed NLTP,” they said.

The Ekiti State Government had pledged to reactivate the grazing reserves at Oke Ako and Irele Ekiti for the NLTP in the state.

But the monarchs opposed the move, saying: “We are mindful of the security implications and consequences which will be inimical to the security of our people, knowing full well that the majority of our populace are predominantly peasant farmers.

“We are also not unmindful of the antecedents of some of the Fulani herders wherever they cohabit with their hosts.

“Since the time it was reported that Ekiti State is favourably disposed to the proposed programme which will lead to direct occupation of our land by Fulani herders, we have been inundated with series of complaints laden with fears from our subjects both from home and in diaspora.

“In view of the foregoing, MOBEL, on behalf of our subjects at home and in Diaspora, hereby declares that this proposed programme which we perceive to be another nomenclature for RUGA – the widely rejected land grabbing initiative, is unacceptable to our subjects,” the monarchs explained.