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Anti-open grazing Bill: Lagos lawmaker advises Southern Govs on income generation

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A member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon Victor Akande on Wednesday advised the Southern Governors’ Forum to establish an expanse of lands in their respective states for ranching where deviant herders would be made to operate and pay.


According to him, the Bill on anti-grazing could be made to function effectively if the punitive measures  would make provision for arrest of defaulters, adding that such herders would be made to pay heavily while operating on the established ranching.


The Southern Governors’ Forum had in May reiterated the ban on open grazing, in Lagos State after the maiden edition of the parley in Asaba, Delta State, to curtail the nefarious activities of armed herders.


The Forum set a timeline of Wednesday, 1st September, 2021 for the promulgation of the anti-open grazing law in all member States.


However, the committee set up by President Muhammadu Buhari to discover the old grazing routes had submitted its report where it was recommended those routes that existed in 25 states should be converted into open grazing.


Many state governments had kicked against the move, arguing that the era of open grazing is no longer fashionable.


Commenting on this development, Akande who is the Chairman House Committee on Judiciary, Public Petitions, Human Rights and LASIEC, gave this advice while speaking with journalists in his office, at Alausa, Ikeja.


Akande who is representing Ojo constituency I, stated that setting up of ranches by state governments would serve as a means of generating revenue for the states.


He said, “For the clarity of purpose, no law is stagnant, they evolve and things change. The sate governors have the powers to protect lives and properties of their people without modicum of fear.”


He believes the order to discover the old routes in 25 states, would not supersede the constitution, saying “In a situation where herders are armed and mesmerizing the people, such order would not work. Mr President has not made any pronouncement, he wants to see how those routes will affect the people.


“These routes were existing when the lands are fallow and today they have been overtaken by development.


“So I want to advise the State to have an expanse of lands for ranching when those herders are caught , you take them to the ranches and they will have to pay. By this, the governments will generate income,” Akande stated.


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