In order to regularize and checkmate the activities of herdsmen in Delta State, the Delta State House of Assembly Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources recently organised a public hearing on the proposed Nomadic Cattle Rearing Control Bill, reaffirming its commitment to securing the lives and properties of Deltans.
The lead sponsor, Hon. (Comr.) Barr. Reuben Yakubu Izeze and other members of the Committee; Hon. Barr. Daniel Mayuku, Hon. Chief Samuel Mariere and Hon. Engr. Emeka Nwaobi, said the major intent of the bill is to protect the life and properties of Deltans.
According to the Sponsors, the bill will also create room for the establishment of the State Advisory Council on Grazing to repeal the Control of Movement of Animals Law 2000 and other matters connected thereto.
Speaking at the one-day public hearing held at the Labour House, Asaba on Thursday, February 16th, 2016, the Chairman, House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources, Hon. Chief Evance Ochuko Ivwurie, said this bill is fundamental. It is a pro-developmental law that is important to the development of Delta State and Nigeria.
According to him, it is no longer news that the issue of cattle rearers also known as Fulani Herdsmen has been a major security challenge to both lives and property. The business of Cattle-Rearers/herdsmen had become a sensitive issue both at the state and national levels.
Hon. Ivwurie said the bill did not only seek to regulate the activities of nomadic herdsmen, also to protect the lives of genuine herdsmen and seeks to ensure that all nomadic cattle rearers, owners and herdsmen, who move cattle into the state, must register such cattle.
We are aware that Nigeria is facing the worse form of economic recession and the only option was to diversify into agriculture. So, how can this menace of Fulani Herdsmen help agriculture?
The lawmaker reiterated that the philosophy behind the bill was “basically of the doctrine of necessity, following the disregard for the lives and properties of Deltans by some unscrupulous members of the society’’.
In his words “We know that when these cattle rearers visits your farms, you have a very bitter story to tell. They will leave your farms, communities with series of deaths, kidnapping, raping which is a very big security challenge in Nigeria, specifically in Delta State which has assumed alarming situation.”
“We are saying that we are diversifying into agriculture. We have animals that come to the farm and in less that two minutes your investment will be reduced to nothing, so this is a major challenge to our national development, and the only affected part is the Southern part of Nigeria,” the House Committee Chairman on Agriculture and Natural Resources posited.
Hence, Hon. Ivwurie said the State House of Assembly decided to hold this public hearing to have the views of Deltans. Every stakeholders involved had made their contributions, it is now left for us as lawmakers to go back and do further legislative studies in order to curtail the excesses in the State.
Hon. Ivwurie said with the kind of contributions that we have received from every nooks and crannies of the state. We will come up with a good law that will put a final stop to this menace of the nomadic cattle rearers otherwise called Fulani Herdsmen.
Hon. Ivwurie used the opportunity to thank everyone for coming, especially members of the Press.