Four states namely Ebonyi, Ondo, Abia, Imo and Ogun have reportedly put plans in motion seeking the passage of anti-open grazing law in their various domains to curb clashes between herdsmen and farmers.
Reports say the bill for Ogun has already passed second reading as the state soon hopes to join Ekiti and Benue states where the anti-grazing law is in full effect.
That much information was revealed by Oludare Kadiri, the Chairman, House Committee on Information, who said; “The bill will soon get to the committee stage.”
Kadiri added that; “There is a bill before the house, which has passed the second reading. It is on animal rearing and grazing. When we resume from the oversight function tour, the bill will move to the committee stage.
“When it is finally ready, it will spell out the modalities for animal rearing and grazing. It will spell out where to go and where not to go. So, let us wait till the bill is finally passed into law.”
Similarly, Mr. Marcel Ekwezuo, the Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker, Imo State House of Assembly said a similar bill is before the state House of Assembly but he could not ascertain its status.
Ekwezuo while explaining the need for the anti-grazing law said; “It was because the law is pertinent that the entire legislators of the South-South and South-East gathered at the hallowed chamber of the state House of Assembly to deliberate on it. Since that convergence, there has not been any clash between herdsmen and farmers in Imo State.”
In Oyo, a similar bill is in the making and according to the state’s Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Toye Arulogun, the issue of herdemen attacking farmers is a national matter.
Arulogun said; ““The issue of herdsmen attacks on farmers and communities is a national issue. We have pockets of such problem in Oke Ogun area of Oyo State.
“I can confirm to you that there is an executive bill that will soon be transmitted to the state House of Assembly. This will address the frequent clashes between farmers and herdsmen in the state.”
Ebonyi State is also contemplating presenting an anti-open grazing bill to the House of Assembly for passage into law, and according to Emmanuel Uzor, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor David Umahi, it is important especially as neighbouring Benue state has also imposed the law.
Uzor said; “We are contemplating sending anti-open grazing bill to the House of Assembly. The close proximity of Ebonyi and Benue states is such that it is possible that when the herdsmen move away from there because of its new law, they will move their cattle into Ebonyi. To protect our people, we are contemplating having a similar law in the state.
“The process is almost completed; if the law was able to stem the frequent clashes in Ekiti and Benue, it would stop it anywhere and end all these frequent clashes.”
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