Watching Obaseki closely on the secretly signed anti open grazing law

September 23, 2022
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By Leftist Osazee Edigin AICMC

The activities of herdsmen in Edo state had assumed a deadly dimension till date which made the people to impress on the state government on the need to put in place a law to regulate the movement of livestock and related matters.

A town hall meeting was held in Imaguero College wherein it was resolved by all stakeholders in attendance unanimously that an anti open grazing law is a sine qua non towards taming the activities of marauding herdsmen in Edo state. A day down the line, it was shocking to see the governor with President Buhari pledging our resolve to keying into the federal livestock programme which is codenamed RUGA.

Nowhere in the town hall meeting such agreement was reached. How did the governor come about the negotiation with the president to wit ceding some parts of our lands for RUGA?

Thereafter, an executive bill was sent to the Edo State House of Assembly and the journey for having the law kick-started. The EDHA didn’t call for public hearing, however, memoranda were requested from citizens. EDOCSO sent in theirs for consideration as input. In a news item one day, it was discovered that some members of the house were deliberating on the percentage of land to be ceded to the herdsmen in our communities or local government areas.

Watching Obaseki closely on the secretly signed anti open grazing law

The news item got people worried and necessitated members of Edo Civil Society Organisations taking a well mobilized protest to the house of assembly. The speaker and some principal officers of the house assured of a peoples’ oriented anti open grazing law at the end of the day and also promised to carry all critical stakeholders along the way.

About three months down the line, it was surprising to hear and see Edo state governor showing a copy of the already signed anti open grazing law and also reading some of its contents to the media. The questions that filled Edo people’s mind were how, when and where was the law passed? How come the people just got to know about it then? Why was the law passed in subterfuge?

Now that some parts of Edo state are already agitating and protesting against the continuous taking over of their lands by herdsmen, it becomes convenient to conclude that, it is the manifestation of what are contained in the now secretly guided supposedly anti open grazing law.

The anti open grazing law can be said to be made and kept by the governor alone. As it stands today, nobody can boast of having a copy. A visit recently to the speaker of EDHA by the EDOCSO led by its interim leadership, Leftist Austine Enabulele, a request was made for a copy of the law. To the best of my knowledge, till this moment, it has not been made available.

It’s like something not in favour of Edo people is in the said law. We need to know how much the federal government has released for the law to be passed for the ‘rugalization’ of Edo state.

The anti open grazing law must be made public, it’s not and cannot be a personal law.

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