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Akwa Ibom House of Assembly passes anti-open grazing bill

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A bill prohibiting open grazing in Akwa Ibom State has been passed by the state house of assembly.

The bill was passed after a clause-by-clause consideration by the lawmakers during a plenary on Wednesday.

Sponsored by a member representing Oruk Anam state constituency Udo Kieran, the bill provides for the establishment of ranches and livestock administration, regulation and control.

The bill will be transmitted to Governor Udom Emmanuel for assent.

When signed into law, Akwa Ibom will join 11 other states, including Ondo, Ekiti, Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Rivers, Cross River, Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Enugu and Abia, implementing an earlier agreement by the southern governors in July to ban open grazing in the region.

Like every other state in the country, Akwa Ibom has had its tales of deadly clashes between violent herders and farmers.

In June, herdsmen attacked two brothers at Ikot Atasung, Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, killing one and leaving the other severely injured.

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It was gathered that the herders had had a clash with the brothers after the duo warned the herders to take their cattle out of their farmland.

A reprisal attack on the Hausa community in the village was averted by the swift intervention of prominent indigenes of the village.

Vincent Ufuoma is a reporter with The ICIR. He is a lover of God, truth, knowledge and justice.

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