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Enugu Assembly passes open-grazing prohibition bill into Law

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By Uzoh Ugwueze-Enugu

The Enugu State House of Assembly has passed the anti-open grazing bill into law.

This came as the deadline given by the Southern Governors for a total ban on open-grazing took effect yesterday, September 1.

The lawmakers passed the bill during plenary on Thursday after a report of a joint committee on the bill was accepted.

Orient Weekend reports that the committee earlier in the week held a public hearing wherein the Fulani herders asked for one month extension to enable them take a stand on the bill.

The House has now passed the bill to be known as Enugu State Prohibition of Open Grazing and Regulated Cattle Ranching and Connected Purposes.

The Speaker, Hon Edward Ubosi, speaking after the passage of the bill, thanked the sponsors, noting that the people of the state have been clamouring for the law for a long time.

He expressed optimism that Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi will not waste time in accenting the law.

Ubosi insisted that the law was not against anybody or group but for the good of the people of the state and others that live in the state.

Meanwhile, the youth wing of apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has hailed the Enugu State House of Assembly over the passage of the bill.

In a statement made available to journalists by the President-General of OYC, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike, he said the lawmakers had won the hearts to of the people.

The youth group said leadership was all about listening to the voice of the people and that the State lawmakers had shown themselves to be true Representatives of the masses.

“We are delighted with this big September gift from the Enugu State House of Assembly. The passage of this bill just at the exact time of the September deadline given by the Southern Governors is an indication that we have credible men and women in that parliament.

“The entire Igbo youths are saluting their courage, their boldness and forthrightness in handling that very critical assignment. They have written their names in history books and posterity will judge them fairly,” he said.

Okwu also lauded Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi over the passage of the bill, stressing that “we have in His Excellency a Governor that is a man of the people. He has scored another great goal and for that reason the entire youths and residents of Enugu State are with him. 

“We assure him of our unflinchingly support to his administration.”

The OYC President-General, however, said they were still cautioning Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State to stop playing politics with the life of people.

The group said “any further life lost in the hands of marauding herdsmen in Imo State will be required from his hand. Imo State is part of Southern Nigeria, Imo State is an Igbo State and they can’t operate in isolation simply because of political exigency.

“No political ambition or office should be equated with human life. Ndigbo have suffered enough in the hands of the killer herdsmen and the time to end it is now.”

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