- Rivers state has joined the numerous southern states in the country banning open grazing in their domain
- The Southern Governors Forum had resolved to kick out herdsmen roaming about in their states with a law
- Governor Nyesom Wike has now signed the law as many other southern states rush to beat the September deadline of the forum
Port Harcourt - Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike, on Thursday, August 19 signed the Open Rearing and Grazing Prohibition Law 2021.
This was disclosed in a statement issued by one of the governor's spokespersons, Kelvin Ebiri, and seen by Legit.ng.
How Benue kickstarted the open grazing bill
The spate of communal conflicts over land in Benue State between the Fulani herdsmen and Benue farmers resulted in the destruction of properties, loss of lives, and break down of law and order.
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The development propelled the governor of the state, Samuel Ortom to initiate a bill in the Benue state House of Assembly which was eventually promulgated as the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law, Benue State, 2017.
Southern Governors Forum stance on open grazing
The Southern Governors Forum had given itself a target (September 2021) to ensure all southern states pass a bill to ban open grazing in their respective domains.
The southern governors stated that it is their duty to protect the people of southern Nigeria from invaders posing as herdsmen after the presidency condemned the resolution of the governors.
Governor Wike was one of the governors who attended the meeting at the time.
Delta state rushing to pass the bill
In Delta, the state House of Assembly has kick-started the process and wants to meet the September deadline of the Southern Governors Forum.
Mr. Olisa Ifeajika, spokesman of Delta governor, on Tuesday, July 13 said that the Okowa-led administration had begun work toward enacting a law to prohibit open grazing in the state.
According to Ifeajika, Delta State Livestock Breeding, Rearing, and Marketing Regulation Bill, 2021 is already before the House of Assembly.
Ogun proposes three-year imprisonment for offenders
In Ogun, the state House of Assembly has passed Animal Grazing Regulation and Cattle Ranch Establishment Bill, 2020.
The law recommended three years of jail terms for offenders without any option of a fine.
The clean copy of the bill has been transmitted to Governor Dapo Abiodun and it is awaiting his assent.