Delta State establishes team to enforce anti-open grazing law

THE Delta State Government has established a team of 45 Livestock Management Operatives to enforce the law against open grazing.

The inauguration of the team took place at a ceremony held at the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) headquarters in Asaba, the state capital, on Monday, April 24.

The operatives are expected to be directly supervised by their respective local government area special task forces and will be responsible for ensuring compliance with the anti-open grazing law.


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The Delta State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources and Chairman of the Delta State Livestock Management Committee, Godfrey Enita, who inaugurated the team, said the the operatives had undergone basic courses and were well-equipped to perform their duties.

Enita revealed that the committee had previously sensitized all critical stakeholders, including the Arewa community, Myetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), cattle dealers and the resident Fulani herders, about the law.

“The law was basically enacted, to among others, stop open grazing of livestock, encourage sustainable humane breeding, production and husbandry and marketing of livestock,” he said.

“It was to prevent herders and farmers crisis with its attendant loss of lives and investments, which is a threat to the state’s drive for food security and to enhance safety and harmonious living among herders and farmers in the state.”

The NSCDC Head of Critical National Assets Infrastructure, John Ozowara, who represented the NSCDC state commandant, Suleiman Jimoh, at the inauguration ceremony, expressed confidence in the operatives.

He noted that they had been well-trained and were ready to carry out their duties as stipulated by the law.

The state anti-open grazing law, which was enacted in 2021, aims to prevent herders and farmers crisis, which has resulted in loss of lives, investments and threatens the state’s drive for food security.

It also encourages sustainable humane breeding, production and husbandry, and marketing of livestock to ensure the harmonious living of herders and farmers in the state.

The law is part of the state’s commitment towards an earlier agreement by the Southern Governors Forum in July 2021, to ban open grazing in the region.

Thirteen states, including Lagos Ondo, Ekiti, Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Rivers, Cross River, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi, Edo and Abia, have implemented the agreement.

Benue State became the first state in Nigeria to pass a law banning open grazing in 2017. The law has not, however, stopped the incessant killings and clashes among herders and farmers in the state since 2015.



    The state government has put the total number of people killed by herdsmen in the state since 2015 at 5,138.

    In September 2021, Delta State government accused the Muhammadu Buhari administration, which various social political groups have accused of pampering the murderous acts of herdsmen, of directing the Police not to implement the anti-open grazing laws in different states in the country.

    Instead of embracing and encouraging herders to seek alternatives to open grazing as suggested by experts, the Federal Government in August 2021, moved to revive about 368 grazing routes in 25 states of the country.

    The decision was vehemently rejected by the Middle Belt Forum, Benue state government and various groups in the Southern part of the country, including state governors from the region.

    You can reach out to me on Twitter via: vincent_ufuoma

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