The anti-open grazing bill sent to the Edo State House of Assembly by the Peoples Democratic Party has sparked a fresh row between the party and the ruling All Progressive Congress.
Speaking in Benin City at a lecture series organized by the Gatekeepers, a former Commissioner for Works and Transport in Benue State, Mr. John Ngbede, said the passage of the bill proposed by the PDP will stop destructive activities of Fulani herdsmen.
But State Chairman of the APC, Barr. Anselm Ojezua, described the proposed PDP’s bill as a political pamphlet that has no solutions to the menace of Fulani herdsmen.
The former Benue Commissioner who urged Edo lawmakers to pass the bill stated that the problems of Fulani herdsmen was beyond the ruling APC.
Ngbede disclosed that they succeeded in chasing the Fulani herdsmen out of Agatu in Benue State because of resilient of the people.
He added Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, agreed to support the anti-open grazing bill because of the 2019 general elections.
He said, “The herdsmen do not reason like humans. It will take courage for Edo lawmakers to pass the anti-open grazing bill. The lawmakers will have to look at it.
“We should say no to open grazing because the Fulani herdsmen will become a problem if you allow them.”
“Activities of herdsmen in Benue is worrisome. We are pleading with the federal government to help the state government implement the anti-open grazing law. There will be no problem if the law is supported.”
State Chairman of the PDP, Chief Dan Orbih, said Governor Godwin Obaseki must listen to the cries of the people to protect them from herdsmen.
Chief Orbih warned against the use of state instrument to suppress the opposition for democracy to survive.
The Edo PDP proposed bill prohibiting open rearing and grazing of livestock across the state provides for the establishment of ranches and livestock administration, regulation and control.
Barr. Ojezua however urged the APC lawmakers not to hesitate to throw the bill away.
His words, “Have your read the proposed bill? I saw it myself and it is a political phamlet that does not find any solution to the issue of herdsmen menace. Our people should not waste time in throwing out the document. It is not a serious document. The problem is deeper than what they have proposed.”
Chairman of the occasion, Justice Roland Amaize, urged the state government to do the needful by not making cattle rearing its business but that of private individuals.
His words, “Herdsmen menace is Edo is troubling and sickening. I do hope that whatever we do here will provide the legal framework to check the menace.”