Open grazing to attract three-year jail term as Ogun assembly passes bill

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Southern Governor  Proposes 21 Years Jail Term for carrying Ak47

The Lagos State House of Assembly recommended a 21-year prison sentence for any herder caught with guns in the state yesterday.

The open grazing law, which passed the second reading, was sent to the Agriculture Committee on Thursday for a report.

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‘Prohibition of Open Cattle Grazing Bill 2021′ is the name of the bill.

Mr. Mudashiru Obasa, the Speaker of the Assembly, said the bill was timely and would ensure a peaceful relationship between herders and farmers in the South-West.

“Allocating land parcels is not enough,” the speaker stated, adding that persons interested in ranching should be trained. Ranching is a costly endeavour that necessitates thorough planning.

The legislators who spoke in favour of the recommended prison sentence.

Bisi Yusuff, who represents Alimosho 1, bemoaned the devastation inflicted by herders in the South-West.

“Open grazing has drastically reduced food supply,” he said. Cattle frequently consume the crops of farmers who take out loans to farm. These ranchers’ actions have resulted in food scarcity in the Southwest. Cattle moving along the freeway and destroying markets is a disgrace.

“I wholeheartedly support the proposed 21-year prison sentence for defaulters.”

Gbolahan Yishawu, Eti-Osa II, stated in his submission that seeing cows on the streets is frightening.

Mr Setonji David further advised that after the law is passed and ratified, the men of the Neighbourhood Safety Corps and the police work together to implement it.

The open grazing practice, according to Kehinde Joseph (Alimosho 2), is an aberration in the twenty-first century, and the measure would assist encourage peaceful coexistence between herders and crop producers.

Lukmon Olumoh (Ajeromi-Ifelodun 2) urged that, if the bill is voted into law, the High Court, rather than the Magistrate Court, should be able to prosecute bill violators.

 

Meanwhile, Mr Femi Aborisade, a human rights activist, claimed Wednesday that the Federal has declared war on Nigerians by attempting to recover or create grazing reserves across the country.

In an interview with newsmen, Aborisade stated that such a move by the Federal would be a declaration of war on Nigerians, fanning the flames of mutual ethnic hatred, violence, and unnecessary killing.

“Nationally and regionally, all 36 state governors have resolved that open grazing is unsustainable,” he stated. It leads to unnecessary bloodshed between herders and farmers. Ranching, on the other hand, should be encouraged.

“I don’t see how the Federal Government will be able to carry out its plan to create or restore grazing reserves across Nigeria.

“For starters, the Grazing Reserves Act of 1964 only applied to the Northern Region; it did not cover the rest of the country.

Second, section 1 of the Land Use Act vests land ownership in the Governor for the benefit of all Nigerians in the state’s jurisdiction.

“As a result, land administration in a state’s territory is under the control of the state government rather than the federal government.”

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