Edwards Adebo Ogundoyin
The state’s House of Assembly passed Open Rearing and Grazing Regulation Act 2019 under your watch but some group claims it is against their interest. What is your reaction to this?
The truth is that we’ll always have issues like that especially when some people are aggrieved and I’m actually happy that they consider going to court to seek justice and that is what we encourage responsible people to do. I believe the case had been in the High Court once. I think it was Justice Wale Thomson at a time, who ruled against open grazing. It makes no sense that a farmer would have to fence his whole farmland to protect his crops against a tradition that is not practised in any part of Nigeria.
So, whether in the court, whether in the state, the legislators or the judiciary, there is no hiding place for the destruction of property, especially when it will affect the economy of a certain area or region. But since then, I also read in the news that they have shelved their desire to go toe court and rather they would have to find a middle ground with the state government in moving forward.
As a speaker, what efforts are you making to initiate bills that will ameliorate the suffering of your people?
Well, the government works hand-in-hand, whether the legislature or the executive. But I’m very glad that the executive is working closely with the legislature to bring about changes in all local councils and development areas. I can’t be selfish and just focus on my own constituency as the Speaker. But also I have responsibilities to my constituency. I’m glad that the present administration has recognized Ibarapa as the food basket zone of the state. Recently, the governor just approved N7.6 billion agriculture funds that will be invested in Akofo and Eruwa farm settlements. Anywhere such fund is injected into, no matter the region, it shall be felt economically.