Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom state has signed into Law the Bill on the prohibition of open grazing in the state.
This followed the passage of the bill by the State House of Assembly during Tuesday, September 14, 2021, plenary which was presided over by the Speaker, Mr Aniekan Bassey.
In his remarks, the governor vowed that henceforth anyone whose livestock strays into another person’s farm or property, no matter how highly placed, would be made to face the full weight of the anti-open grazing law of the State.
Emmanuel who stressed that it would be unnecessary for anyone found culpable to attempt to use his power or influence, as the law would be fully invoked to ensure that justice is served, instructed relevant government authorities to ensure the new Law was implemented and enforced to the letter.
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His words, “The law will be used against you, irrespective of who you are, so make sure you create ranches to take care of your livestock. It is very painful for a farmer to wake up and discover that his crops that he had toiled for several months have been destroyed by your cattle.
“Just as you are rearing your animals to make profits, the farmer is also aiming for profits and as such you should not come and destroy his own business with yours.
“Once you are caught, such animals would be confiscated and the fine would add to the revenue of the state government, and shall also be used to settle the loss of the farmer,”
Present during the signing ceremony at the Executive Chambers, Governor’s Office, Uyo were, Akwa Ibom State First Lady, Dr. (Mrs) Martha Udom Emmanuel, who was earlier inaugurated as the Head of Akwa Ibom State Gender-Based Violence Management Committee, the deputy Governor Mr Moses Ekpo, and the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Uko Udom (SAN).
Others were Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mr. Aniekan Bassey, Leader of the State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Udo Kierian Akpan, and Clerk of the House, Mrs Mandu Umoren.
The Akwa Ibom State Anti-open grazing Law promotes modern techniques in animal husbandry, prevent the destruction of farms by wandering cattle, and aims to address clashes between herders and farmers in the state.
It also promotes international best practices in livestock administration, regulation and control in the state, among others.