Open grazing: Enugu Assembly stranded as Miyetti Allah asks for 30 days extension

Ahead of the September 1, deadline agreed by the Southern Governors Forum, members of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) in Enugu State on Tuesday demanded 30 days to make input in the ongoing bill for a law to prohibit open grazing, regulate cattle ranching and for connected purposes in the state.

They said they would use the period to deliberate on the bill to make their own submission.

The cattle breeders made the demand through a joint submission presented by the leadership of the Northern Community in Enugu State and the Southeast Zonal Chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Alhaji Gidado Siddiki, at a public hearing conducted by the Enugu State House of Assembly on Tuesday, on the bill for a law to prohibit open grazing, regulate cattle ranching and for connected purposes in the state.

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Although, the leader of Northern Community in Enugu State, HRH Sarki Abubakar Yusuf Sambo, said that they were in support of any law that will bring peace and security in the state.

However, in their submission, they stated “with every sense of humility, I wish to inform the House that on receipt of the invitation for this session a few days ago, representatives of our members met and tried to advance a position on the matter, but given the technical demands of the large volume of documents that came with the invitation, it dawned on us that we would not be able to make any presentation that would be assumed to truly bear our composite position on the subject under the pressure of five days’ preparation.

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“In recognition of the time constraint above stated, I plead, on behalf of MACBAN and all the Cattle business interest group in Enugu State, that the House allows us more time to articulate a position for submission to the House. I plead for a period of one month to enable us come out with a position that will truly carry our disposition with due consideration to the good of Enugu State and Nigeria.”

Speaking during the hearing, stakeholders from various communities and local government areas of the state applauded the bill and tasked the house to speed up actions to ensure that the law was passed in a short time.

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They lamented that farmers in their various communities were no longer going to farm as a result of atrocious activities of herdsmen, which has resulted in food shortage in communities this year.

Chairman, Enugu State Traditional Rulers Council, Igwe Lawrence Agubuzu, said “I commend the state government for this bill. It is apt and I urge the House to pass the bill into law.”

Responding, the leader of the House, Hon Ikechukwu Ezeugwu, said that the bill was not meant to target any group, adding that it was for the good of all residents of the state.

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