Governors of the southern states of Nigeria have vowed to go ahead with their decision to criminalise open grazing in their domain despite the statement credited to the Fulani Socio-Cultural Association, Miyetti Allah that the anti-open grazing law could threaten social order and lead to crisis, while advising the association to go to court if it felt aggrieved. Recall that Miyetti Allah, during the week, called on the National Assembly to intervene and stop attempts by some state governors to enact anti-open grazing laws targeted at Fulani pastoralists. National Secretary of the association, Mr Saleh Alhassan said the law would undermine the relative peace and stability currently enjoyed in the local communities, threaten the social order and exacerbated cattle rustling.
Enforcement of anti-open grazing law exists
in Ekiti, Miyetti Allah can go to Court- EKSG In Ekiti State, anti-open grazing bill was passed into law by the immediate past administration of Governor Ayodele Fayose, and the present administration of Governor Kayode Fayemi since he took over has expressly declared that anti-open grazing law is still in force. Buttressing this while speaking with our correspondent, the state commissioner for Information and Value orientation, Akin Omole, said as far as Ekiti State is concerned the present administration, as an elected government, would ensure the implementation of all existing legislative laws. He added that the government was democratically empowered to also institute new laws for the benefit of the populace devoid of sectional interest. The Commissioner advised any group or organisation which feels its interest is affected to seek redress in court of law. “We are an elected government and by that we are to enforce all rules, laws, regulations and make new ones as well; so if there are existing laws which include anti-open grazing law made validly and passed into law by the Ekiti State House of Assembly, it is the duty of the executive arm of government to implement it; any organisation by whatever name it is called cannot challenge the constituted authority. So, if they are dissatisfied with it, let them go to court,” he said.
Anti-open grazing law will be enforced in Abia State
Anti-open grazing law was recently enacted by the Abia State House of Assembly and assented to by the Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu and it is now in force in the state. However, the law appears not to be effective as cows still roam unhindered in the state and Umuahia, the state capital. Reacting to the recent remark by Myetti Allah that the anti-open grazing law will jeopardize peace in the country, the Chief Press Secretary to Abia State Governor, Sir Onyebuchi Ememanka, said the stand of the cattle breeders association would not change anything. He added that as long as there is a law in the state against open grazing it must be enforced to the letter. “The position of Miyetti Allah doesn’t affect the law in Abia State. Open grazing of cattle is banned in Abia State and that law will be enforced to the letter,” he said.
We’re not bothered by Miyetti Allah’s threat – Enugu Government
The Enugu State government, while reacting to the statement of Miyetti Allah on the issue, said that it was not bothered by threats and opposition against the enactment of anti-open grazing laws by states across the country. Enugu State Commissioner for Information, Nnanyelugo Chidi Aroh, in an exclusive chat with Saturday Telegraph said that nobody had the right to obstruct the implementation of a law validly passed and assented to by the governor of any state. Reacting to the development in a telephone chat Aroh said it was unnecessary heating up the polity by reacting to any negative comments, insisting that any law validly passed has come to stay. “I don’t think that’s a very necessary thing now. Does anybody have power to threaten the implementation of any laws; you know what law is? “Law is legislation passed by the State House of Assembly for the state level and assented to by a governor. So I don’t think that we really need to bother ourselves each time talking about the negatives of situations. “I think we don’t react to such things, somebody saying that he will not obey law, all these are actually in the realm of speculation because actually we have not heard from anybody.”
Ondo rejects Miyetti Allah’s position
Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, on his part, rejected Miyetti Allah’s position that the ban on open grazing could lead to crisis. Speaking through his Senior Special Assistant on Special Duties and Strategy, Dr Doyin Odebowale, in a statement made available to Saturday Telegraph said: “this uncouth, uncultured and, evidently, deracinated vagrant of Miyetti Allah, left no one in doubt as regards the level of support certain criminal elements, like they, enjoy.” He added: “Ondo State has a law which prohibits open grazing. The government has a responsibility to implement the law for the benefit of the people of the state and those, who may share in their aspiration for the development of their God-given space. The people of Ondo are hospitable. They will, however, be unable to tolerate and condone invasion of their lands. No bandit will operate in Ondo State under any dubious guise.”