Wole Ayodele in Jalingo
Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State has signed the state Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Bill into law.
Â The bill, forwarded to the assembly by the governor as an executive bill, was passed by the lawmakers last Wednesday Â following the adoption of the report of the ad-hoc committee that conducted public hearing on the bill across the three senatorial district of the state
The signing of the bill, which was held at the executive chamber of the government house, Jalingo, was witnessed by the deputy governor, Speaker of the assembly and other principal officers including the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), commissioners, Commissioner of Police and other security chiefs.
Signing the bill into law, Ishaku stated that the introduction of the law was necessitated by the dangerous trend open grazing had assumed in the state and the entire country in recent years, saying the state has witnessed strange practices of grazing by herdsmen who are strangers to the state.
â€œThe introduction of this executive bill was necessitated by the dangerous trend open grazing had assumed in Taraba State, and indeed the whole of Nigeria in recent years. Within the past two years, Nigerians have woken up to battle with a strange practice of grazing by herdsmen who are strangers to our state.
â€œThese herdsmen have within this short period of time turned our traditional farmers-herdsmen complementary practices fatal and sorrowful. The activities of these herdsmen have not only resulted in total destruction of farmlands, but also heartless killings of farmers using AK47 automatic guns and, in most cases, destruction of settlements, rustling of cattle belonging to our indigenous herdsmen and other cattle rearers,â€ he said.
The governor further noted that the activities of the killer herdsmen seem to have defied all solutions by security agencies nationwide adding that none of them has ever been arrested till date.
Ishaku further stated that even though the activities of the herdsmen seem to have defied solution and none of them ever arrested, it is not an excuse for the government to just sit back and resign to fate, stressing that the responsibility lies squarely on him to do all he can to find a lasting solution to the problem.
Â He noted that with a high sense of responsibility and the burden in his heart, he felt the best the government needed to do was to enact a law that would regulate the movement of herdsmen and their cattle within the state which led to his decision to submit the executive bill to the state House of Assembly.
Describing the signing of the bill as a milestone in the history of his administration and the state in general, Ishaku commended the Speaker, Abel Peter Diah and all the members of the assembly for making it possible.
He said he is aware of the pressures and the media propaganda they endured in the course of passing the bill just as he assured them that their decision to stand Â for common good Â and welfare of the people will remain in the sands of time.