Delta State Commissioner for Information, Charles Aniagwu has said the law to ban open grazing in the state would promote healthy and harmonious living among farmers and herders.
He stated this while featuring as a guest on ‘The Morning Show’ on Arise TV on Friday.
Aniagwu, who noted that the law was not targeted at any section of the society said it is to provide a healthy living among stakeholders in the farming and cattle rearing business.
The commissioner who explained that the constant clashes between farmers and herders in the country necessitated the call for legislation to ban open grazing especially in Southern Nigeria blamed President Muhammadu Buhari for not providing adequate leadership in resolving the crisis. He added that the State House of Assembly had conducted Public hearing on the Bill before going on recess.
He further revealed that the Bill would be passed as soon as the Assembly returns from their annual recess.
“Let’s take away the politics and the primordial sentiments from the crisis. I do not blame these individuals who are opposed to ban on open grazing.
“I blame the President because I assume that he should be able to understand. Those who advise him, have a clearer picture of what obtains in advanced societies.
“Subjecting the cattle to some form of unwarranted exercise is not healthy because the cattle are shedding weight and therefore not able to provide all the proteins we desire because they have been subjected to trekking thousands of kilometres.
“If you go to the state of Texas in the United States of America, the number of cattle they have in Texas alone is far in excess of what we have in the entire Nigeria yet you don’t see them roaming on the streets causing havoc.”
While noting that the crop is the source of livelihood of the farmer as the cattle are also the source of livelihood of the herder. the Commissioner said there is a need to strike a balance.
“If the source of the livelihood of the herder now progresses to a level where it subjects the farmer to abject poverty on account of the regular trampling on the farms, produce and crops of this farmer which of course has been the centre of the clashes between these two very important sectors of our economy.
He said the President had not provided leadership in resolving the crisis, adding that the proposed bill has a proposal for 5,000 hectares of land designated for regulated or restricted grazing and ranching in every local government area
“Here in Delta, we are very determined to regulate it not for the purpose of only banning grazing in open areas but for the purpose of promoting healthy living between the owners of the livestock and of course those of us who are either into consumption, marketing, breeding or rearing.
“We are determined to regulate it for the purpose of promoting healthy living and we are very much convinced that when this is done, it will help our economy both in Delta and indeed that of the entire country,” the Commissioner stated.