Bill seeking to ban open grazing divides Senate

A Bill seeking to ban open grazing in Nigeria and replace it with ranching by Cattle Breeders divided North and Southern Senators during plenary on Wednesday in Abuja.

The Bill seeking the establishment of the National Animal Husbandry and Ranches Commission, was however passed for second reading despite the hopla during plenary.

The propose law, seeks as a viable alternative for Cattle breeders in Nigeria and mitigate unabated farmers and herders in Nigeria, was sponsored by Senator Titus Tartenger Zam (APC, Benue North West).

It also seeks to modernize animal husbandry in line with international practice, enjoyed the support of Senators from the South, while their counterpart from the North, opposed the Bill vehemently.

After a heated debate by Senators, the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio subjected the Bill to a voice vote before the Bill scaled through second reading.

Senator Akpabio, promised to consider the amendment of the Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution aimed at simplifying land Management in States.

He thereafter referred the Bill to the Joint Senate Committee on Judiciary/Human Rights and Legal Matters as well as Trade/Investment/Agriculture for further deliberation at a public hearing.

The Senate President explained that Public hearing would be combined with national dialogue by the Senate to garner submissions of various Stakeholders by the Committee, which is expected to report to the Senate in July 2024.

Senators Danjuma Goje (Gombe Central) and Adamu Aliero (Kebbi Central), had argued that the Bill runs contrary to certain provisions of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution as amended, with particular reference to Sector 31 that allows every Citizen of Nigeria the right to move within Nigeria and the ECOWAS sub-region in Africa.

But the Senate President interjected and posited that the right by members from ECOWAS Countries to move does not imply the freedom by Citizens to move their livestock from one place to another.

TheNewspad reports that more than 4000 people are said to have lost their lives to farmers and herders clashes in Nigeria, while over 5000 people had been displaced due to the crisis arising from the menace that has generated wrinkles on the face of history.

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