Udom Emmanuel, the governor of Akwa Ibom State, has signed a measure prohibiting open raising and grazing and allowing for the construction of ranches in the state.
The state House of Assembly approved the bill into law yesterday (Tuesday).
The governor, who signed the bill into law on Wednesday in the state Council Chambers, promised that anybody whose animals trespass onto another person’s land or property, no matter how powerful, will face the full force of Akwa Ibom State’s new anti-open livestock grazing legislation.
It would be pointless for anyone found guilty to try to utilize his or her authority or influence, according to the governor, because the law would be rigorously enforced to guarantee that justice is done.
“Regardless of who you are, the law will be used against you, so make sure you establish ranches to care for your animals.
” It is quite unpleasant for a farmer to wake up and realize that your cattle have ruined his crops, which he had labored over for several months.
“Just as you raise your animals to make a profit, the farmer wants to make a profit as well, so don’t come in and ruin his business with yours.
“Once you are caught, such animals would be confiscated and the fine would add to the revenue of the state government, and shall also be used to settle the loss of the farmer,” Emmanuel said.
The signing was witnessed by the State House of Assembly Speaker, Hon Aniekan Bassey and the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Uko Udom (SAN).
During the ceremony, the Governor’s wife, Dr. (Mrs) Martha Udom Emmanuel, who was earlier inaugurated as Chairman of the Akwa Ibom State Gender Based Violence Management Committee, and the State Deputy Governor, Mr Moses Ekpo, who was earlier inaugurated as Chairman of the Akwa Ibom State Road Safety Management Committee, were also present.
The new law encourages modern animal husbandry practices, prevents agricultural devastation by straying cattle, and attempts to resolve conflicts between herders and farmers in the state.
It also promotes international best practices in livestock administration, regulation and control in the state, among other things.