Lagos joins Rivers, others to legislate against open grazing

Lagos joins Rivers, others to legislate against open grazing

Lagos State is on the verge of joining other Southern states in making law against open grazing in the region as agreed by  16 other Governors in the region.

The anti-open grazing bill was afterward committed to the committee on agriculture after it scaled the hurdle of the second reading.

As the bill against open grazing passes the second reading, the Speaker of  Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa said the Prohibition of Open Cattle Grazing Bill would protect the  ecosystem and pave way for peace between farmers and herders.

According to him, “It is an opportunity for us to emphasize again on the need for the consideration of true federalism.”

Obasa, also suggested that the bill should make provision for the registration of herders and prepare them for ranching.

“Allocating parcel of land is not enough but there should be training of those who would go into ranching because ranching is expensive and required adequate preparation,” he said.

Other Southern States that have legislated against open grazing are Bayelsa, Ekiti, Oyo Ondo, and others that have delayed Bill.

Rivers and Bayelsa states have since signed the bill into law with Governors, Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and Douye Diri of Bayelsa State emphasising the law was to ensure peace and order in their states.

Though the anti-grazing bill has been passed by the state House of Assemblies in Ogun and Ondo,  Governor Dapo Abiodun and Governor Rotimi Akeredolu are yet to assent the Bill.

However, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) said anti-open grazing law would undermine the relative peace and stability being enjoyed in the local communities, saying that it threatens the social order and engenders cattle rustling.

The Secretary General of MACBAN, Saleh Alhassan made this known during a press conference in Abuja.

He noted that “The National Assembly and Mr President should intervene and stop the current attempts by some state governments to criminalise our means of livelihood of cattle-rearing through enacting of satanic and obnoxious laws they call Anti-Grazing Law.”

He noted that, “The Federal Government should create a ministry for livestock and fisheries as obtainable in many African countries. Nigerians should adopt strategies in responding to changes of climate change as it affects livestock production not negative laws.”

He disclosed that anti-open grazing laws would destroy livestock production and increase poverty rate especially those who depend on livestock for livelihoods.

He charged the National Assembly to assist pastoralists by resuscitating and passing the Grazing Reserves Commission Bill and other livestock management bills initiated by the previous assembly.

Recall that Southern Governors Forum had announced that the deadline set for the Open Grazing Ban was Wednesday, 1st September 2021, and that Funds deducted from the Federation Account for Nigeria Police Security Trust Fund should be distributed to states to fight insecurity.

Earlier, the 17 Southern States Governors in Nigeria had resolved to ban open grazing of cattle in their region after their meeting in Asaba, Delta State.

Open grazing of cattle has seldom caused conflicts and fights between host Farmers and Herders in the region.

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