Enugu House Of Assembly Passes ‘Public Ranch Bill’ For Herdsmen

The Enugu State House of Assembly has passed the Public Ranch Agency Bill.

 

The bill when signed into law will authorise the state government to set up an agency to manage both government and privately owned ranches in the state.

 

Speaking before the passage of the bill on Tuesday, the member representing Igbo-Eze North Constituency II, Clifford Obe, expressed optimism that the legislation would end the farmers/ herders crisis in the state.

 

Obe explained that the farmers/herders crisis was responsible for the low agricultural output in the market which occasioned the current high cost of foodstuffs in the markets.

 

According to him, many farmers have been driven out of their farms, which has resulted in the increase in crime and rural/ urban migration.

 

“The bill will help people not to be afraid. It will make it a must for herders to register whenever they enter into any community. It will reduce crime and how cattle mess up our city and rural communities because there would be an agency on ground to guide the herders.

 

“Above all, the state government would be able to collect tax from the herders, who before now didn’t pay any tax,” Obe added.

 

Also contributing, Okechukwu Aneke, representing Udi South Constituency, noted that there is no need for people to be afraid of the bill, adding that herders are not only Fulani.

 

Aneke stressed that the herders have come to stay, urging the people to learn how to co-exist with them, as the herders have come to stay.

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The lawmaker reiterated that the bill wants to control the herders, adding that those invading and attacking communities in the state are not real herders.

 

“This agency, when established, will have a designated area where the cattle and their herders will be stationed. Any herder, who is found in our bush and not in the designated place, should be treated as an intruder and a kidnapper”, Aneke said.

 

Harrison Ogara, who represents Igboeze South state constituency, said the bill would guarantee peace between farmers and herders.

 

He urged the executive arm of the government to be strategic in its implementation.

 

In his remark, the Speaker, Chief Uche Ugwu, assured the people of the state that the Assembly would not pass a bill capable of truncating the peace in the state.

 

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