Enugu farmers support anti-open grazing bill

...As State Assembly holds Public hearing

Farmers from Enugu communities Tuesday supported the anti-open grazing bill by the State House of Assembly while holding public hearing on the bill.

Speaking in his capacity as a farmer and President General of Ekpulambo Mgbowo Community in Awgu LGA of Enugu State, Chief Collins Okelu, lamented that open grazing “adversely affects the ecosystem, pollutes water supply, degrades and destroys the land making it prone to erosion and denudation.”

Okelu expressed support for the passage of the Bill to stop the menace of the herders and their flock.

Recall that the September 1, 2021 deadline set by the Southern Governors Forum, SGF,  has ticked away and the State House of Assembly on Tuesday held a public hearing on the bill.

This was just as the Miyetti Cattle Breeders Association, MACBAN, asked for three months to study the Bill.

In attendance at the session held at the hallowed chambers of the Assembly included community leaders and traditional rulers, clerics, youths, farmers, opinion leaders, political leaders, cattle rearers and other stakeholders.

The session was chaired by the Deputy Speaker who expressed delight at the impressive turnout of people and pointed out that the bill had passed the Second Reading and that it geared at ushering in peaceful coexistence between native farmers and the itinerant herdsmen.

Firing the salvo the Chairman of the Enugu Traditional Rulers Council, Ambassador Lawrence Agubuzu lauded the Assembly for its efforts at passing the Bill, which he described as timely which would “bring peace between farmers and herders, and end sexual harassment as well give farmers confidence to go back to their farms.”

In her contribution, the Chairman of the House Committee on the Bill, Hon Amaka Ugwu thanked the people for coming saying that bill would maintain peace among farmers and herders and explained that everyone was free to make written or oral contributions to the discussion.

The Miyetti Cattle Breeders Association, MACBAN, was on hand and lauded the Bill and supported its passage even as the group prayed the House for 31 days to go and study the Bill and give feedback to the House.

Similarly, the Northern Nigeria group in the South East who spoke through Sariki Abubakar Sambo equally supported the Bill and aligned their position with that of MACBAN.

Sambo expressed the hope that the Bill would foster peaceful coexistence between northerners and people of the South East.

The House later adjourned for a plenary on Thursday when hopefully the Bill might be passed even as the deadline expires on Wednesday, September 1.

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