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Open Grazing Bill: Miyetti Allah demands 750,000 hectares Delta land

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By Nosa Akenzua,

Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, (MACBAN) on Tuesday requested the Delta State Government to grant its members 750,000 square meters of land as designated space for grazing and ranching as deliberations progress on the ban on open grazing bill before the State’s House of Assembly.

It was gathered that against the 125,000 hectares of land proposed in the “Delta State Livestock Breeding, Rearing, and Marketing Regulation Bill, 2021,” which translates to 5, 000 hectares of land in each of the 25 Local Government Areas of the State, Miyetti Allah (MACBAN) is requesting for 30,000 hectares of land per Local Government Area.

Section 8 (1) of the bill stated that; “There shall be the establishment of designated areas for Livestock Breeding, Rearing, and Marketing… and Section (2) states that the designated areas referred to in the subsection (1) of this section shall comprise: (a) ‘A minimum of 5,000 square meters land’ set aside in every local government to build ranches.

MACBAN interest was revealed during the public hearing on the Bill for a Law to provide for Regulation of Livestock Breeding, Rearing and Marketing and to Prohibit Open Grazing and related matters in Delta State, held Monday, 26th July 2021.

The group, determined to have its way, is said to have allegedly mobilized huge funds to allegedly woo members of the State House of Assembly to jack up the proposed 5, 000 hectares to a minimum of 15,000 hectares per Local Government Area.

The move, it was further alleged, started before the State lawmakers went on a training programme with a source privy to the plot affirming that the group has secured the support of about 9 members of the House, but was yet to get the needed majority before the lawmakers travelled.

According to our source, “As soon as they return from their trip, the group will reach out to more lawmakers with a mouthwatering offer they cannot refuse. They are aware that most of the lawmakers can barely pay their bills because the executive has starved them to submission, so they can throw carrot at them.”

It was also gathered that some influential members of the Delta State House of Assembly might have been compromised by MACBAN with a move to grant them something in the range of 10,000 hectares to 15,000 hectares of land when the house finalizes on the bill.

Recall that the Southern governors met in Delta State and collectively agreed to enact laws banning open grazing in the southern Nigerian by August ending, following the criminal activities of some herdsmen which have led to a bloody clash with farmers.

So far, only 8 Southern States have met the deadline set by the governors, enacting laws prohibiting open grazing of cattle. States now with established laws include; Oyo, Ekiti, Ondo, Rivers, Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Abia and Imo state.

The Bill has also been passed by the legislatures in Osun and Ogun states awaiting governor’s assent, while the legislative process is going on in Delta, Lagos, Enugu and Akwa-Ibom States. For now, there is no ban or process to ban open grazing in Anambra, Edo and Cross-Rivers States. In the North, Benue and Taraba States has also passed the anti-open grazing laws.

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