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Anti-open grazing bill: Miyetti Allah asks Enugu Assembly to extend deadline by One month

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By Uzoh Ugwueze, Enugu

The Enugu State House of Assembly yesterday commenced public hearing on a bill to prohibit open rearing of cattle in the State.

However, while several stakeholders made presentations as residents await the September 1 deadline given by Southern Governors, the leadership of the Cattle-Rearers association, Miyetti Allah Hor and Gan-Allah Fulani Development Association of Nigeria, GAFDAN, asked the lawmakers to give them more time to make their input. 
Head of Miyetti Allah in the South East, Alhaji Gidado Idris and Zonal Chairman, Musa Abdulahi, respectively asked the Enugu State House of Assembly Committee on Agriculture, Ethics and Privileges, during the public hearing on the Law to Prohibit Open Grazing and Regulate Cattle Ranching, to give them one month to go and deliberate on the bill.
The duo said they needed more time to inform their people on the new development.
“Honourable chairman, we are requesting that let thirty days (30 days) be given to us so that the elders and members of Gan-Allah Development Association of Nigeria, DAFDAN, be briefed about this development.
“It is of very importance for our members and elders to be aware of this development in order to avoid some doubts or misconception that, the government of Enugu State has given huge amount of money and we failed to communicate or inform them about the new development,” they pleaded.
Speaking while declaring open the public hearing, Deputy Speaker of the State’s Assembly, Rt. Hon. Uche Ugwu said the essence of the bill was to ensure peace and progress in Enugu State and Nigeria.
“We are one people in Nigeria guided by one constitution.  What we want to do is to put a law that will bring peace and progress in Nigeria.
“In our respective villages, we rear goats, sheep and other animals but we don’t allow them to eat other people’s crops, otherwise, we report the person to the village chiefs and elders where they pay penalties,” he said and urged those who have submissions to do so with an open mind.


Explaining the objective of the bill, the Chairman of the joint committees in charge of the bill and the public hearing, Hon. Amaka Ugwueze, said the bill when passed into Law would stop the destruction of farms, rape and other crimes and also prevent and control the spread of animal diseases, as well as check the devastation of the environment which has impacted negatively on farming activities in the region.
Recall that Fulani herdsmen have killed many villagers in recent times especially in 2016, when Nimbo people in Uzo-Uwani Local government area were massacred.

Just recently, the people of Eha Amufu, Isi-Uzo Local Government Areas, among others, have become regular victims of murderous herders. 

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