The anti-open grazing executive bill, currently before the Taraba House of Assembly, will benefit both the herdsman and the farmer, the Speaker, Mr Abel Diah, said on Thursday in Jalingo.
“The bill is not targeted at anyone. It is not a witch hunt. It is aimed at promoting peace and mutual understanding which will benefit the farmers and cattle owners,” Diah told newsmen at a news conference to mark the end of the legislative year.
He rejected suggestions that the bill was aimed at enacting a law that would make it difficult for herdsmen to rear their cows.
“What we are carrying out is a revolution; we want a better life for grazers. The ranching we are opting for will create more jobs and make it possible for young men that move around with cows, to go to schools.”
He expressed regret that clashes associated with open grazing had often led to loss lives.
“When this bill is passed and signed into law, the activities of criminals hiding under the guise of grazing to perpetrate all forms of crime will be checked,” he said.
The Speaker also dismissed claims that the bill would stop herdsmen from entering the state.
“Herdsmen coming from outside the state will be given temporary permits for the purpose of identifying them and their livestock.
“When they are registered, government will be able to plan for their security and welfare,” he explained.
He said that experience had shown that cows in ranches were normally healthier than those roaming about.
“I have cows on the Mambilla Plateau in a ranch. They are doing far better than those roaming about because they are not passing through stress,’’ he said.
Diah said that the Assembly had passed 19 bills and 11 resolutions in the last two years, adding that all the bills were signed into law by Gov. Darius Ishaku. (NAN)