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Just In: Bayelsa Assembly throws out grazing reserve bill



The Bayelsa State House of Assembly, on Wednesday, shot down a bill before the National Assembly for the establishment a grazing route and reserves in states for herdsmen across the country.

It was gathered that in a plenary, members of the House were unanimous in their rejection of the bill following a motion moved by a member representing Ogbia Constituency 1, Dr. Mitema Obordor.

The lawmakers called on the National Assembly to urgently discard the bill because of its wide rejection among Nigerians.

Obordor in the motion observed with serious concern allegations of unlawful encroachment, destruction of crops and farmlands in some parts of Bayelsa by herdsmen.
He named some of the communities having problems with herdsmen as Agudiama-Epie, Okutukutu, Gbarain, Tombia, Amassoma, Elebele, Otuasega and the some places along Kolokuma/Opokuma and Sagbama.

He lamented the criminal and nefarious activities of herdsmen ranging from massacre of innocent souls in Benue, Ekiti and Enugu states to raping of innocent women.

Obordor noted that herdsmen had shown clear exhibition of impunity, lawlessness and threats of insecurity.

He said the motion was moved “bearing in mind the peculiar nature of our environment which is riverine dominated, leaving our people to manage the remaining upland portion for farm settlement and production of food for livelihood”.

He noted that his motion also took note of the resolutions adopted at the recent Inter-Parliamentary Session of the South-South and South-East zones held at Owerri, Imo State on July 15, 2016.

He said it was dangerous to allow an uncontrolled movement of cows adding that though the country needed to diversify to agriculture, it should not be done to the detriment of lives and properties.

The lawmakers adopted Obordor’s motion and resolved to “prohibit stray animals and grazing of cattle from one location to another through farmlands thereby causing damage, health hazards, obstruction of vehicles and human traffic.

The House further resolved to appeal to the state government to encourage ranching as an alternative to grazing reserves.

The legislators also called on the state government to set up a special monitoring team to check the activities of herdsmen and prosecute offenders.

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