… Declares No Ceding Of Land To FG
… Demands Law Prohibiting Open Grazing
… Recommends Six Months Jail Term For Violators
The Edo Civil Society Organisations, EDOCSO, says governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki’s recent demand for fund from the Federal Government for a National Livestock Transformation Programme was a betrayal of Edo people and resolution reached at a town hall meeting by the Southern Forum Governors’ Forum on open grazing.
Obaseki had, after attending the town hall meeting on Tuesday, flew to Abuja on Wednesday to demand from the Federal Government fund for Livestock Transformation Programme in the state.
Obaseki said in the meeting with Buhari: “It should also be able to help Edo people benefit from the funding that is now being made available for people who want to go into the livestock business and have made investments in ranches and other similar livestock programmes.”
But EDOCSO, in a press conference held in Benin on Thursday to make it stand and that of Edo people known, said if the agreement reached at the town hall meeting by the Southern Governors’ Forum was in variation with Obaseki’s demand from Buhari, then it is a betrayal of trust, adding that such would not be tolerated in the state.
Bishop Osadolor Ochei
Interim Chairman, The Extended Council, TEC while addressing the press at the conference called on Obaseki to obey the decision and resolution he and other Southern governors reached at the town hall meeting.
While noting that traditional rulers and the church in the state have all made it clear to the Governor that the state has no land for open grazing, Osadolor called on the Governor to, as a matter of urgency, transmit a bill on anti-open-grazing to the state House of Assembly so as to pass it in to law so that “we all can have peace. “
“Edo people will not be a party to ceding their lands to the Federal Government plan in whatever disguise. There is no going back on the ban on open grazing in Edo state which is the yearnings of Edo people. Owners of cattle should build their ranches to carry out their legitimate business.
“We are giving him till the second week of November to transmit the said bill to the Edo State House of Assembly so it can become law,” he demanded.
He posited that, “cattle owner that allows his cattle to graze on a farmer’s land or destroy any property should be made to serve a jail term not less than six months and pay compensation to the farmer whose farm is destroyed. He should also stand the chance of forfeiting the cattle to the state government.”
Osadolor further posited: “The provision of colony to cattle owners should be discouraged. Every cattle owner should purchase/lease land for the purpose of ranching and/or any other farming operations.All cattle owners must ranch their cattle. It is not the business of government to provide lands for cattle owners.”
The civil society organistion therefore called on Obaseki to stop further discussion on the National Livestock Transformation Programme with the Federal Government irrespective of the monetary benefits.
While calling on the state government to invest on the agric sector, the civil society organistion stressed that this would address food scarcity and other issues in the state.