Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun yesterday signed into law, a Bill to Regulate Animal Grazing and Establishment of Cattle Ranching.
Part of the law prescribes a jail term of not less than three years without an option of fine, including the forfeiture of the herds of cattle or livestock under his/her control to the state government, for anyone who rears, herds or grazes any livestock in any part of the state, except within the permitted ranches or anyone who rears cattle or livestock outside the permitted ranches after the commencement of the law.
Abiodun, who assented to the bill during a Security Council meeting at the state Secretariat, Oke Mosan, Abeokuta, urged security agencies to enforce the law.
This is a subject matter that has been discussed along the length and breadth of the country and which we southern governors have discussed and endorsed.
Ogun had enjoyed peace among ethnic nationalities until the recent farmer- herder clashes.
Cattle rearers, according to Governor Abiodun, have a six-month period of grace before it becomes illegal for them to occupy unapproved public areas and private land with their livestock for grazing.
The law also prohibits the act of moving cattle around public places by herders.
A committee headed by the Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Adeola Odedina, has been set up to midwife the implementation and enforcement of the law.
The signing of the Anti-Open Grazing Law by the governor followed the decision of the Southern Governors’ Forum in August to set the September deadline to pass the law across member- states.
Crises were witnessed in Ogun as a result of alleged open grazing in Yewa area of the state in April, necessitating the setting up of a peace committee headed by a former House of Representatives member, Mr. Kayode Oladele.
The crises this year pitched Hausa-Fulani settlers against their Yoruba hosts.
It is expected that the Anti-Open Grazing Law will prevent the spread of the menace across the state.
Governor Abiodun said:
By implication, in six months, it will become unlawful to openly graze cattle or other livestock in the state.
The House of Assembly on July 8 passed the bill.
Speaker Olakunle Oluomo subsequently transmitted a clean copy to Governor Abiodun for assent.
The bill was passed after unanimous votes by the lawmakers at the sitting where the bill was read the third time.
Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa also yesterday signed into law, the Delta State Livestock, Breeding, Rearing and Marketing Regulation Bill, 2021.
He urged the Federal Government to assist interested farmers to establish ranches across the country.
Okowa made this known after assenting to two bills passed by the House of Assembly at the Government House, Asaba.
The bills, which were presented to Okowa for assent by the Speaker of the Assembly, Chief Sheriff Oborevwori, who was accompanied by his deputy, Chief Christopher Ochor and other principal officers, were the Delta State Urban and Regional Planning Bill 2020 and the Delta State Livestock, Breeding, Rearing and Marketing Regulation Bill, 2021.
The Bill, which was passed by the assembly on September 9, after it went through public hearings, received support from stakeholders.
He said the two laws were important to the state, adding that the Delta State Livestock Breeding, Rearing and Marketing Regulations Law had taken a new life of its own in the country.