Akwa Ibom Gov Emmanuel signs anti-open grazing bill into law
Akwa Ibom state Governor, Udom Emmanuel has assented the bill on the criminalisation of open grazing in the state.
Governor Emmanuel signed the bill into law on Thursday after it was passed by the State House of Assembly during Tuesday, September 14, 2021, plenary which was presided over by the Speaker, Mr Aniekan Bassey.
Emmanuel pledged that any herder whose livestock encroaches into any farm or property will face the full wrath of the law.
The assent of the anti-open grazing bill in Akwa Ibom state is the latest among the growing number of southern states who have criminalised the archaic practice in the region.
The Governor noted that it will be futile for anyone found culpable to try to circumvent justice as the law on will be fully invoked and justice rightfully implemented.
He said: “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.