ENFORCE ANTI GRAZING LAW NOW OR RISK NON ACTUALIZATION OF ARISE AGENDA

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ENFORCE ANTI GRAZING LAW NOW OR RISK NON ACTUALIZATION OF ARISE AGENDA

 

The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has called on the State government to enforce the anti grazing Law in the State as non enforcement can jeopardize the full implementation of the ARISE Agenda especially as it relates to agricultural revolution.

This extant Law is as contained in Section 30,31, 38-41 of the Open Grazing (Prohibition) Control and Establishment of Ranches Cap, 107 Laws of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria.

This was the resolution of the House at Thursday’s Plenary.

Speaker of the House, Rt Hon Udeme Otong, had directed the Clerk, Mrs NsikakAbasi Orok to write to the State Governor, Pastor Umo Eno, reminding him of the existing anti-grazing law, urging the Governor (through the Ministry of Agriculture) to enforce the extant law on open grazing prohibition and control.

The directive of the House is sequel to a Motion raised by the member representing Ikot-Ekpene/Obot-Akara State Constituency, Hon. Jerry Anson Otu “on the urgent need to fortify security at Ikot Enwang in Ikot-Ekpene Local Government farm areas to repel attacks from herdsmen”.

The motion which was brought pursuant to order 3 rule 1 of the Standing Orders of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, (seventh edition) is in response to reports received by the lawmaker from over 100 inhabitants of Ikot Enwang in Ikot-Ekpene Local Government Area over activities of herdsmen who according to the lawmaker “have continued to pose a serious menace to the peace and tranquility of the community, especially in the farm areas where these herdsmen allegedly unleash their cattle to destroy farmlands and their produce, thereby causing untold hardship to the peasant and the peace loving people of Ikot Enwang”.

He lamented that the disturbing occurrences has continued unabated for over two years despite various efforts to embrace dialogue with the herders to curtail their grazing activities away from farmland, even as the situation remains the same and even getting more precarious by the day.

Hon. Otu maintained that the people of his constituency are very cautious not to take laws into their hands or resort to self help considering their hospitable nature and openess to co-habilitation with strangers, hence the need to continue to toe the path of dialogue and prompt notification of the police.

The Ikot-Ekpene reprsentative noted that the principal mandate of the State Legislature in making laws for peace, order and good governance dovetails to the protection of lives and property, prayed the House to mandate the Commissioner of Police in the State, and Commissioner for International Security to beef up security in and around Ikot Ewang and it’s immediate environs through the establishment of a dedicated police post in the area.

He also requested that the State Government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development be directed to enforce the opening Grazing (Prohibition) Control and Establishment of Ranches Law.

In their contributions, the member representing Nsit-Ibom State Constituency, Hon. Eric Akpan and his Ibiono-Ibom counterpart, Hon. Moses Essien, corroborated the concerns raised by the Ikot-Ekpene lawmaker on the activities of herdsmen in the State, noting that despite the existence of the anti-grazing law in the State, the herdsmen have continued to remain adamant, thereby constituting security threat in the State as they allow their cattle to stray into people’s farmland destroying crops.

They expressed fears that if urgent measures were not taken to checkmate the activities of these herdsmen, the Arise Agenda of Governor Umo Eno with specific reference to Agricultural revolution and rural development may be jeopardized.

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