Wednesday, October 27, 2021
MARKET UPDATE

TheCable

Advertisement

AT A GLANCE: Edo, Imo, C’River — six southern states yet to enact anti-open grazing bill

AT A GLANCE: Edo, Imo, C’River — six southern states yet to enact anti-open grazing bill
September 23
11:13 2021

Six southern states are yet to sign the anti-open grazing bill despite the September 1 deadline that was fixed for the enactment of the law.

Advertisement

On May 11, governors of the 17 southern states resolved to ban open grazing and the movement of cattle by foot in order to curb clashes between farmers and herders in the region.

The decision of the governors was announced after a meeting in Asaba, the Delta state capital. The governors said the decision was taken as part of efforts to improve security in the region.

“The forum observed that the incursion of armed herders, criminals and bandits in the southern part of the country has created a severe security challenge, such that citizens are not able to live their normal lives, including pursuing various productive activities, leading to threats to food supply and general security. Consequently, the meeting resolved that open grazing of cattle be banned across southern Nigeria,” Rotimi Akeredolu, chairman of the forum, had said.

Advertisement

But the resolution was met with mixed reactions in the country, with the presidency and a number of stakeholders opposing the move.

The presidency had said the proposed plan was of “questionable legality” and that it will not solve the farmer-herder clashes while Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), also faulted the decision of the southern governors and likened the resolution to prohibiting spare parts trading in the north.

In spite of the dust raised by the proposed plan, Akeredolu had insisted that their decision was irreversible.

Advertisement

So what has happened since the 17 southern governors made the resolution? At a follow-up meeting in Lagos, in July, the governors set September 1 as the deadline for the enactment of the law.

While some states already had the law in place, others are still in the process of passing the bill.

STATES THAT HAVE ENACTED THE LAW

Before the resolution of the governors, the anti-open grazing law was already operational in Ekiti, Ebonyi, Abia, Oyo, and Bayelsa states.

Advertisement

Rivers and Ondo states joined the others in prohibiting open grazing on August 19 and 31 respectively.

Enugu, Akwa-Ibom, Osun and Lagos later enacted the law after the deadline.

STATES THAT HAVE PASSED THE BILL BUT AWAITING GOVERNORS’ ASSENT

TheCable understands that the Ogun state house of assembly is still awaiting the governor’s assent as a bill to regulate animal grazing and establishment of cattle ranches in designated areas across the state was passed on July 8.

Advertisement

On September 14, the Delta house of assembly also passed the bill for a law prohibiting open grazing, indiscriminate breeding, rearing, and marketing of livestock.

The passage of the bill followed a motion for the third reading moved by Ferguson Onwo, the majority leader of the house.

The passage of the bill followed a motion for the third reading moved by Ferguson Onwo, the majority leader of the house.

While in Anambra, the bill passed the first reading at the state house of assembly on September 22.

Advertisement

STATES THAT ARE NOT SHOWING SIGNS OF ENACTING THE LAW ANYTIME SOON 

Despite the resolution, Edo, Cross River and Imo states are somewhat reluctant about enacting the law.

Godwin Obaseki, Edo governor, has not sent the bill to the state house of assembly for consideration while Ben Ayade, Cross River governor, has reportedly refused to sign a 2017 anti-grazing bill that was passed by the state house of assembly.

While speaking with journalists in August, Hope Uzodimma, Imo governor, had said the state had no law against open grazing. The governor had said what the state does is to regulate grazing activities under a partnership between the farmers and herders.

But Duru Johnson, spokesman of the state assembly, countered Uzodinma, saying the state had a law against open grazing and that it was assented to by Achike Udenwa, a former governor of the state.

1 Comment

  1. GOD IS ON THRONE
    GOD IS ON THRONE September 25, 09:45

    hope uzodinma is left over governor

    Reply to this comment

Write a Comment