12 June 2017

Nigeria: Oyo Goes Tough Over Cows Herding in Schools, Public Places

Photo: The Guardian Nigeria
Cows in an Edo State classroom.

The Oyo State government has warned that herdsmen found shepherding cows into public schools or converting their playground to grazing fields will be arrested for prosecution, while the straying cattle will be seized as exhibits.

The Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Adeniyi Olowofela, gave the warning at a press conference, in Ibadan, at the weekend against the backdrop of reports that cows invaded some public schools in Ibadan and other areas recently.

Although the state had no designated grazing zones, he said that the herdsmen have been cautioned at different meetings from straying into unauthorized places to feed their cattle to avert conflict of interest with farmers and property owners.

Olowofela said, "What happened recently in Edo State has also happened in a school in Ibadan and few other areas where cows invaded public schools. We will no longer tolerate indiscriminate rearing of cows.

The commissioner used the occasion to fault a statement credited to a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Femi Falana, in an online medium, where he was quoted to have scored the six years of the Governor Abiola Ajimobi-led administration very low in education attainments.

He said the state inherited a dysfunctional educational system in 2011, which encouraged automatic promotion of students irrespective of performance, which he attributed to the poor performance of students in external examinations.

The commissioner stressed that the state government had since carried out series of reforms, including stoppage of automatic promotion, introduction of school governing board, Oyo State Model Education System Interventions (OYOMESI), among others, which, he said, had begun to yield dividend.

On the lingering crisis at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, the commissioner said that the matter would be laid to rest as soon as the ongoing forensic audit of the college's finances, staff strength and students' population records was completed.

Frowning on what he called the hostile and uncooperative attitude of some of the institution's stakeholders, he used the opportunity to appeal to them to stop denying the auditors access into the offices to forestall further delay.

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