Wednesday, 8 November 2017

8th House of Assembly rejects proposed grazing law, contradicts Gov Ben Ayade's disposition

Efio-Ita Nyok|8 November 2017 

The Cross River State House of Assembly has rejected the Grazing Commission Bill currently been proposed by the National Assembly, advocating for a closed and regulated ranch reserve system.

In a motion of urgent public importance initiated by the Deputy Whip of the House, Rt. Hon Ogana Lukpata, the members unanimously rejected an open grazing system in the state and called on the state government and other relevant agencies to give effect to the content of the latest resolution of the state Assembly.

The House further called on the state government to ban open grazing of cattle and other animals, advising that interested farmers should engage in a closed and regulated ranch system under the policy framework of the state Ministry of Agriculture.

''Under the Cross River State Environmental Sanitation Law, it is unlawful to openly graze cattle or any other animal that endangers human life'', it was observed adding that the open grazing system was alien to the livestock economy of the state. 

The House noted that there were many specialised farmers in the state engaged in poultry, goat, bird, fish and pig farming, who acquired land at prevailing commercial rate without government intervention, submitting that the same should apply to cattle grazing. 

It maintained that the Cross River State land tenure system was based on family inheritance and the land was the foundation of owners' economic activities, hence the state government cannot therefore acquire family land and set aside for grazing.

House of Assembly contradicts Executive Council 
The position of the 8th House of Assembly is contradicting an earlier position of the State Governor who said that passing the law banning open grazing will kick some persons out of business. According to Governor Ben Ayade recently, 'if all the states pass a stiff law against grazing, then we are wiping out that trade and source of livelihood of some persons and if on the other hand, we also do nothing, and they continue to wipe out the crops, then you are also wiping out the source of living of another set of people.

'At this juncture, it is wise for us to call on the Federal Government to live up to its responsibilities by responding adequately to the plight of the people affected by the menace of herdsmen across the country.'

Critic slams state Governor's disposition on cattle rearing law
However, social change agent, embattled critic and university don, Mr Joseph Odok, seem to x-ray the mind of the governor when he said that Ayade will hardly rule against an anticipated open grazing law giving explanations that border on the governor's greed. His words, 'I know Governor of Cross River State's attitude in things that attracts even one naira. He is actually more interested in money than the life of Cross River people. What I don't know is the reasons for his failure to act when crisis begins. It will be harsh to say my Governor likes the blood of Cross River people. Instances are that he has considered the financial benefits that will accrue to the state than protect the people's life. 

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'For the Fulani cattle men, they pay some amount of money to the state government. But their presence have always caused a lot of lives, the Benue and Enugu case is still fresh. Our governor is talking rhetorics instead of beginning initiatives to engineer steps for the passage of anti-grazing laws. Just like our governor has not cared about Bakassi refugees, Skolombo boys, Boki refugees and refugees and victims of war in various communities but is the first to call the attention of UN to the reality of Cameronian refugees for capitalist considerations, so will the love of what the Fulani cattle men will bring to table in terms of capital make the governor be less proactive even when people's lives are placed at risk.'

The Governor should immediately accent to the bill as passed by the Assembly without tinkering it! 

Efio-Ita Nyok
Is a Blogger, the Editor-in-Chief & Publisher of NegroidHaven 

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