n Monday, the Lagos Anti-Open Grazing Bill had its second reading in the state House of Assembly.
Six areas of interest are listed below, as found in the document:
For grazing on another person’s land, a fine of N50,000 per head of cattle is imposed.
“Any person who owns or is in control of cattle and causes or permits such cattle to graze on any land that does not belong to the owner of the cattle, or is not within an area designated for cattle grazing, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of fifty thousand Naira (N50,000) per head of cattle, as well as payment of the costs incurred for impounding, transporting and maintaining the livestock by the order of the court included,” says section 2 (1) of the bill.
If livestock are not claimed within seven days of being impounded, the owner risks permanent confiscation.
“Any person who owns or is in charge of such impounded animals must claim them before the expiration of seven days from the day the cattle were impounded or be subject to permanent forfeiture of such livestock by order of the court. All unclaimed livestock under this section’s sub-section two (2) will be auctioned publicly”, according to Section 2 (2) and (3).
Ministry of Agriculture approval is required for grazing on enclosed land.
“Any person who owns or controls cattle shall not cause or authorize such cattle to graze in an enclosed land without first receiving consent from the Ministries of Environment and Agriculture. When the enclosed land is located within a residential neighborhood, such consent will not be granted”, according to Section 3 (1) and (2).
Possession of a firearm carries a 21-year sentence.
“Any individual caught in possession of guns while herding livestock commits an offence and is subject to a sentence of twenty-one (21) years in jail if convicted,” according to Section 4 (1) and (2).
“Any individual caught in possession of a hazardous weapon or object with the purpose to wound or inflict serious bodily injury to another person while herding cattle commits an offence and faces a seven-year prison sentence if convicted.”
The formation of a task force against cattle trespass.
Section 7 states that the state will form a task force against livestock trespassing for law enforcement purposes.
The reads as follows, “The task force shall have components situated in every livestock pound formed within the state. The task force shall have the authority to work with the Commissioner of Police to enforce the state’s restriction on open cattle grazing. The task force will be made up of officers from the State’s Agriculture Ministry and Law Enforcement personnel. The task force may select individuals from within the area that the task force is situated in, to work with its team.”
Opposing cattle seizure carries a fine of N250,000 or a six-month prison sentence.
“Any person who forcibly opposes the seizure of cattle liable to be seized as provided for under this law, or forcibly retrieves the cattle after the seizure, either from a cattle pound or from any person taking or about to take them to a cattle pound, commits an offence; and is liable on conviction to a maximum term of imprisonment of six months, or a maximum fine of N250,000two hundred and fifty thousand Naira, or both”, according to section 11.
Although the bill has not yet been voted into law, members of the public are encouraged to email their comments and suggestions to: email@example.com.
Meanwhile, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association has claimed that if the anti-grazing bill is voted into law in Lagos State, a cow might cost up to N2 million.
During a one-day public hearing organized by the State House of Assembly on the anti-open grazing law on Wednesday, the Zonal Secretary of Myetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association in the South West voiced the above threat-like premise.
The bill on open grazing was sent to the Agriculture Committee by the Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday, according to the media.
“A bill for a law to prohibit open cattle grazing in Lagos State, cattle trespass, and other connected purposes,” it said.
Usman urged the State Government to assist them during the public hearing, claiming that ranching is more expensive than open grazing.
Usman, who admitted that some herders were criminals, stated that raising a cow in a single spot might boost the price of a cow to as high as N2 million.
In addition, he lobbied with the government to subsidize the cost of rearing cattle in a single site.
The bill, according to House Speaker Mudashiru Obasa, is intended to foster peaceful coexistence among residents.
In his keynote presentation, Obasa, who was represented by Deputy Speaker Wasiu Eshilokun-Sanni, said it was critical to address the issue of cattle rearing, particularly because it impacts on security and other human aspirations.
The speaker went on to say that the problems with current cattle-raising and open-grazing practices necessitated concentrated measures for economic development and stability.
The new bill, according to Kehinde Joseph, chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, is intended to ensure peace in the state between herders and farmers.
While the Southern Governors Forum, which is made up of 17 governors from the southern states, imposed a ban on open grazing of cattle across the region, MACBAN criticised such law.
The pastoralists’ group accused the Governors of robbing them of their livelihood, and demanded that the Federal Government intervene to prevent them from enacting the anti-open grazing law.
But, the need for anti-grazing law in Lagos and other States across the South could not come at a better time other than now since the custodian of law, security and order – Federal Government, has failed in its responsibility, state governments with the interest of their people at heart have to step in, ignoring politics or political party syndrome.
And, it is for a fact that the people causing harm, death, terror and committing heinous crimes in Nigeria that had brought about insecurity are the Fulani.
Governor Ortom has accused Fulani herdsmen of being responsible for repeated attacks on local farmers in Benue State, which have resulted in the murder of hundreds of residents and the displacement of over a million people, in a series of Press conferences and at a stakeholders meeting.
But, as insecurity in Benue and other states continues to demand Federal Government intervention, the Presidency, through Mallam Garba Shehu, Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media, went personal with Governor Ortom, ignoring the key problems raised and, by extension, defending the Militias since they hail from the same tribe as the President.
However, Governor Masari stated on Monday on Channels Television’s “Politics Today” that the majority of the bandits terrorizing Katsina and other states of the country were Fulani.
In his words, “Bandits are persons who speak same language like me. They profess the same religious beliefs like me”.