Taraba Anti-Open Grazing Bill: Assembly Receives 98 Memoranda

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Wole Ayodele in Jalingo

The ad-hoc committee put in place by the Taraba State House of Assembly to conduct public hearing on the contentious Taraba State Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Bill 2019 has declared that it received a total of 98 submissions for and against the passage of the bill.

The public hearing, held across the three senatorial districts of the state was concluded at Bali, headquarters of Taraba central district Saturday night with serious enthusiasm and heightened expectations.
Addressing journalists at the end of the exercise, Chairman of the committee, Dr. Mark Useni said the attention and enthusiasm elicited by the bill was unprecedented in the annals of the state.

He reiterated the commitment of all the members of the committee to ensuring justice and fair play saying even though reading through all the submissions would be a herculean task, the members are prepared to go the whole length in order to come up with a report that would represent the views and opinions of the generality of the people.

He, however, assured that the committee would ensure that it submits its report to the House in good time so that it can be discussed extensively at plenary and come up with an acceptable position.

Meanwhile, in his submission to the committee, Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the state, Yusufu Nya Akirikwen, debunked insinuations that the bill contravenes the 1999 Constitution as amended.

Akirikwen stated that though section 41(1) of the constitution which is being quoted and made reference to by those opposed to the bill permits all Nigerians to reside in any part of the country, it is limited by section 41(2).

According to him, “Not withstanding the provisions of subsection 1, any law that is being made by the state for good governance, the provisions of subsection 1 does not take away the powers of making such a law.”
Speaking further, he stated that where one citizens rights end, another person’s own begins stressing that everybody has equal rights just as he cautioned all citizen to be conscious of the limits of their rights.