Anti-Grazing Bill: Lawmakers Organize Public Hearing

….Assure On Expeditious Passage

By Mmaduabuchi Onwumelu

The Speaker, Anambra State House of Assembly, Right Honourable Uche Okafor, has assured that the House will give the Anambra State Anti-Grazing Bill expeditious passage to forestall further loss of lives.

Rt. Hon. Okafor gave the assurance at a one-day public hearing on a bill for a law to prohibit and abolish open and nomadic cattle and other livestock grazing and rearing in Anambra State and to establish cattle and other livestock ranches in the state, held at the Conference hall, Government House, Awka.

Fides reports that the Speaker explained that the idea of the public hearing was to harness the inputs and opinions of diverse stakeholders on the matter for a consensus opinion of all relevant segments of Anambra State.

He assured that the views expressed by the participants would be taken into consideration by the House in fashioning out what finally got to Governor Willie Obiano for assent.

In his remarks, the chairman of Anambra State House of Assembly Committee on Agriculture, Honourable John Nwokoye, noted that the Anti-Grazing Bill was for unity, security and peaceful coexistence among residents of the state and not targeted at any group of individuals.

In his submission, the chairman, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, South East Zone, Alhaji Gidado Siddiki, who commended the House for carrying them along in the enactment of the Anti-Grazing Bill, appealed for more time to study the bill and make their own recommendations.

In his speech, the Commissioner for Lands, Mr. Bonaventure Enemali, assured his Ministry’s support, noting that Anambra State did not have enough lands for such; just as the National Vice President, Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene, condemned open grazing in its entirety, stressing that the bill would accommodate the establishment of ranches for cattle rearing and that each senatorial zone should have one ranch.