Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state and Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun state, has signed the anti-open grazing bill into law.
Assenting to the bill christened “Delta State Livestock, Breeding, Rearing and Marketing Regulation Bill” which were passed by the Delta State House of Assembly, Okowa, said the law was very important to the state.
The Governor added that the Delta State Livestock Breeding, Rearing and Marketing Regulations Law has taken a new life of its own in the country.
Recalling that the Southern Governors met and took certain decisions which they believed was in the best interest of the nation, he said; “today is quite a remarkable day in the history of this state because we signed two important bills into law this morning.
“We believe that it is in the best interest of security, we believe that it is in the best interest of ensuring food security and that it will help us to ensure that we are able to cause people from across this nation who will find themselves outside their own states inhabiting in Delta State to live with Deltans in a peaceful and respectable manner with each other having respect for each other.
“We believe as the Southern Governors had stated that we must start to look into other ways of ensuring that we are able to breed and that we are able to rare our cattle and other livestock in such a manner that is acceptable in modern times.
“We believe that this is something workable, many times it is difficult for people to embrace change, but I believe that the world all over is changing by the day and if you find that change is going to bring peace if you find that change is going to bring development and even economic enhancement, it should truly be embraced.
“I think that it is time for our nation to depart from the old ways and to look into the future, ensuring that we do things in the best way for development.
“We must encourage best actions to be taken towards ensuring that there is peaceful coexistence within the various ethnic nationalities in Nigeria and the various states and also ensuring that we are able to do our businesses in such a manner that is respectable and I think that is what this law stands for”.
The Governor explained that the law was not enacted to witch-hunt anybody but to encourage people to live with each other, respecting each others view, noting that the Delta State House of Assembly had done the state proud.
Okowa said: “Today Delta State can rightly boast that we now have a law that regulates livestock breeding, rearing and marketing and a law that also prohibits open grazing.
“It is one law that everyone of us in this country should truly support, it is something that is in the best interest of us all.
“I want to urge all who are into livestock business to realise that this law has been signed and it is in the best interest of everybody including they who are into livestock breeding, raring and marketing business.
“There has to be some decency brought into and there has to be some reasonable level of respect for each other and even the rights that we tend to claim.
“Everybody has its own rights but it is important that we respect each others rights, every man’s right has a limit because you cannot infringe on the rights of somebody else.
“As government we encourage our people to gradually go into ranching because it will help our people, it will help to boost the economy of even the livestock breeder.
“I believe that with time they will come to realise that these laws being passed would help to boost the economy going into the future”.
While calling on Federal Government to put processes in place to assist in various ways to enable people to be able to establish ranches, he said; “this is very important because if we do not do something now, in the nearest future we will find that we will definitely be having food scarcity and the insecurity that we find in our country we may not be able to address them.
“Until we take very stringent and supportive measures to ensure that there is control in terms of open grazing and that there is respect among citizens because we are a united country.
“We have accepted to be one nation and everything that will strengthen the unity of this country, every government in this country both at the national and the sub-national levels must truly support it”.
On his part, the Ogun state governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, said the law will prevent the incessant clashes between herders and farmers in the State, which has led to loss of lives and property in Ogun West senatorial district of the state.
It would be recalled that the State House of Assembly had on July 8, passed the Animal Grazing Regulation and Cattle Ranch Establishment Law, 2020.
Part of a section of the Ogun state bill prescribed a jail term of not less than three years without the option of fine including the forfeiture of the herds of cattle or livestock under his/her control to the state government for anyone who rears, herd or graze any livestock in any part of the state except within the permitted ranches or anyone who rears cattle or livestock outside the permitted ranches after the commencement of the law.