By Our Correspondent
The grazing bill debate that was stalled in the plenary of the Cross River State House of Assembly, last week due to power outage resumed this week with the House rejecting the Grazing Commission Bill currently been proposed by the National Assembly.
This is also coming against the background of a request by herdsmen in the state to the state governor, Senator Ben Ayade, requesting the approval of a permanent grazing land for them in the state as a way to avoid clashes between herdsmen and farmers.
The government in a response through the Special Assistant to the Governor on Non-Indigenes and Muslims Affairs, Alhaji Abdulkarim Adam, said that the government has requested the herdsmen to ensure that they promptly report the entrance of any new set of herdsmen into the state to avoid infiltration and breach of security and assured that once they comply, government will consider their request.
But the House of Assembly has totally rejected the idea insisting that even if the National Assembly passes the grazing commission bill into law, it will not be domesticated in Cross River state.
In a motion of urgent public importance initiated by the Deputy Whip of the House of Assembly, Hon. Ogana Lukpata, the members rejected an Open Grazing System in the state and called on the state government and other relevant agencies to give effect to the content of the Resolution.
The House insisted that the state government should outlaw open grazing of Cattle and other animals and interested farmers should engage in close and regulated ranch system under the policy framework of the State Ministry of Agriculture.
A copy of the resolution which was obtained by our House of Assembly correspondent, states that:
i. Cattle rearing or grazing is a specialized and economic culture of the people of Northern Nigeria, just like food crop farming is specialized to the Southern part of Nigeria.
ii. In Cross River State our land tenure system is family inheritance based, and the land is the foundation of all their economic activities, the state government cannot therefore acquire family land and set aside for grazing.
iii. There are so many specialized farmers in the state engaged in poultry, goat, birds, fish and pig farming, who acquire and purchase their own land at prevailing commercial rate without government intervention, the same should apply to cattle grazing.
iv. Under the Cross River State Environmental Sanitation Law, it is unlawful to openly graze cattle or any other animal that is ferocious to human life.
v. The open grazing system is alien to the state livestock economy.
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