Festus Ahon

THE bill to prohibit open grazing and related matters in Delta State, Wednesday, passed second reading on the floor of the State House of Assembly.

The bill, Delta State Livestock Breeding, Rearing and Marketing Regulation, which is being sponsored by the member representing Ughelli South Constituency in the House, Mr Reuben Izeze and 24 other members of the House, was debated during plenary presided over by the Speaker, Chief Sheriff Oborevwori.

Izeze who opened debate on the merit of the bill, said the bill was long over due to the activities of killers herdsmen, adding that the bill is needed to protect every community.

According to the Lawmaker, the bill when passed and assented to, would help to regulate movement and other activities of livestock dealers in every part of the state.

Izeze commended Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, other Southern Governors and Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria for their resolution against open grazing in the Southern part of the country.

He, however said resolutions were mere persuasive, adding that enabling law is needed to enforce ban on open grazing.

Speaking in favour of the bill, the Deputy Majority Leader of the House, Mr Kenneth Preyor, the Deputy Chief Whip, Chief Solomon Ighrakpata, the member representing Warri South West Constituency, Mr Emomotimi Guwor and others, described the bill as a welcome development.

They said the bill would help to curb the menace of the ravaging herdsmen, adding that the bill has come to save the lives of Deltans.

The Speaker of the House, Chief Sheriff Oborevwori referred the bill to the House joint committee on Special bills, Agriculture and Natural Resources after it was unanimously supported by all members.

Meanwhile, the Chief Press Secretary to Delta State Governor, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, has said the state government had begun work towards enacting a law to prohibit open grazing in the state.

Ifeajika, who stated this on a Delta Broadcasting Service live television programme monitored by our Correspondent, said Delta State Livestock Breeding, Rearing and Marketing Regulation Bill, 2021 was already before the House of Assembly.

He said the Bill had scaled first reading at the parliament, expressing optimism that the bill would be passed and made ready for the Governor’s assent before the September deadline set by the Southern Governors’ Forum in their recent meeting in Lagos.

Commending the Speaker, Chief Sheriff Oborevwori and members of the Assembly for their commitment towards ensuring that the Bill was passed on time, he said: “It is true that the Southern Governors’ Forum had set September deadline for states to pass their anti-open grazing laws.

“For us in Delta, we would have had ours passed and ready long ago if not for the strike embarked upon by the parliamentary workers. However, the Bill is already before the House and it has passed through first reading while the second reading has been slated for Wednesday.

“I am very optimistic that the Law will be ready in Delta before the September deadline set by the Southern Governors’ Forum. I must commend the Speaker and members of the House for their commitment in ensuring that the Bill gets the urgent attention it deserves”.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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