…Says No inch of its land will be gifted for cattle grazing
Edo state government has said that the state anti open grazing law is to reduce crime to the nearest minimum in the state.
This is part of the resolution arrived at from the third in a series of stakeholder workshops organised to discuss and debate its proposed law on anti-grazing.
The State Government also declared as false and malicious rumours of its intentions to jettison the process of enacting its own legislation to promote the safety, well-being, and socio-economic future of its teeming farmers across the state.
The Town hall meeting it will be recalled was organised in keeping with the character and practice of the Obaseki-led government’s system of integrating input of relevant stakeholders in the law-making process, especially on issues as sensitive as the Anti-Open Grazing Law in Nigeria.
The meeting which was well attended by members of the Edo State Executive Council, led by the Governor himself and his deputy resolved that a law prohibiting open grazing in Edo State is imperative and must be passed as quickly as possible.
The meeting also resolved that the proposed law be drafted to protect the business interests of Edo residents that are currently involved in ranching and trading in cattle and beef. Beyond the intense politicisation of the issue, the meeting further resolved that the law ensure the sufficiency of protein guaranteed through cattle produce to ensure food security without jeopardising the lives and livelihoods of the states burgeoning farming community.
According to Mr. Moses Idun, one of the organisers of the stakeholders meeting, “Edo State has no inch of land to gift to anyone or group for the purpose of ranching or such other activities”. We are a state of laws and even in drafting laws, we must ensure laws are followed, and an exhaustive and inclusive process is undertaken”.
On his part, the governor enjoined the meeting to ensure the protection of lives and property of farmers under the new law. He also advocated that the law should promote peace, harmony, and brotherliness amongst farming communities, especially to improve the flow of security information between farmers and the state’s robust security architecture. The Governor assured participants of a thorough process that will lead to the enactment of an implementable law that would reduce crime to its barest minimum, considering the growing spate of insecurity in the country.
The Chairman of the Committee on Edo State’s Anti-Open Grazing Law, the Head of Service to Edo State Government, Mr. Anthony Okungbowa, highlighted the state’s desire to create a harmonious working relationship between the various ideological groups in the State, as the proposed Anti-Open Grazing Law should not be politicised to propel a Christian versus Muslim, North versus South or Edo versus Fulani dichotomy, but to deal decisively with insecurity, ensure food security and preserve the socio-economic survival of all Edos amongst other considerations.
“Governor Godwin Obaseki is committed to the protection of lives and property of Edo residents with a sustainable security architecture put in place to checkmate infiltration of genuine cattle rearers by criminal elements, using the business as a cover to perpetrate crime and criminality in the State”, he concluded.
He also assured all participants that a public hearing of the bill will be held before its eventual passage into Law.