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Emmanuel signs Akwa Ibom’s anti-open grazing bill into law

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AKWA Ibom State Governor Udom Emmanuel, on Wednesday, signed the state’s anti-open grazing bill into law.

The bill was signed by the governor at the state house on Wednesday.

Emmanuel said it would be unnecessary for anyone found culpable to attempt to use his or her power or influence, as the law would be fully invoked to ensure that justice was served.

He added that the weight of the law would be exerted on anyone, irrespective of who they were, if found violating the letters of the law.

“The law will be used against you, irrespective of who you are. So make sure you create ranches to take care of your livestock,” he said.

” It is very painful for a farmer to wake and discover that the crops that he had toiled for several months have been destroyed by your cattle.

“Just as you are rearing your animals to make profits, the farmer is also aiming for profits and as such, you should not destroy his own business with yours.

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“Once you are caught, such animals would be confiscated and the fine would add to the revenue of the state government, and shall also be used to settle the loss of the farmer.”

The ICIR had reported how the state house of assembly passed the bill on Tuesday.

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

Akwa Ibom has joined 11 other states, including Ondo, Ekiti, Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Rivers, Cross River, Bayelsa, Ebonyi and Abia, to implement 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 severely injuring another.

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.

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

 

 

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

If you or someone you know has a lead, tip or personal experience about this report, our WhatsApp line is open and confidential for a conversation

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