Livestock Grazing Law not to exterminate herders, legitimatise farm destruction – Gov Ayade

Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has signed the Livestock Grazing Management Bill into law.

Ayade, however, stressed that it is not aimed to destroy the business of the herders or legitimatize destruction of farmlands by livestock.

He signed the bill and another entitled Anti-Corruption Bill into law in his office Friday evening.

Speaking about the anti-grazing law, the governor said, “For those who do not know, this law is not designed to entertain the destruction of our farmlands. It is also not designed to exterminate the business of herders because it is not only non-Cross Riverians that are into livestock farming.

“We also have Cross River indigenes who are into livestock”, he clarified.

Ayade debunked insinuations that the law has legitimatized destruction of farmlands by farmers.

“The law is very detailed. It provides penalties for straying cattles as well as cattle rustling. Anybody who steals cattle belonging to a herdsman, there is a penalty provided in the law. Any herdsman who allows his cattle to stray out of the ranch, there is a penalty. So with this law, we have protected the farmers and we have protected the herders too.

” This way we did not absolutely ban but we have controlled grazing, we have controlled movement of cattle and made a provision that all movement of cattles within the state has to be by vehicle, so, there would no longer be trekking with cows through farmlands.”

On the anti-Corruption law, the Cross River state governor explained that it offers a guarantee of transparency in the way and manner public offices are handled.

“It brings the watchdog closer to us and brings us to a point where we will have ultimate value for the resources of our state”, he said.

According to him, “it is the domestication of the criminal administration law of Nigeria which Cross River has domesticated and this law derives its strength from the concurrence of the criminal Justice of Nigeria.

“Essentially, by the provisions of the new law, the Cross River state House of Assembly now has a superintending authority over the disbursement and distribution of resources of the state.

“The house plays more or less a super auditing role and is vested with the powers to make final statement of clearance for any expenditure that is consistent with the appropriation law of each year.

Earlier, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Eteng Jones Williams expressed optimism that “the two important laws will shape the behavioural pattern of Cross Riverians.”

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