The speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Marcus Onobun had explained the actual position of the law prohibiting open grazing of cattle and other livestock vis-a-vis secession of 20% community or local government council lands to Herdsmen.

The speaker made the clarification today when members of Edo Civil Society Organisations led by its Interim TEC Chairman, Bishop Osadolor Ochei JP in a peaceful protest to the Chief Anthony Enahoro complex in Benin City, the state capital.

Bishop Osadolor Ochei speaking on behalf of the coalition pointed out the fear of loosing our lands to foreign herders who will end up laying claim to such lands in future. He further went on to remind the speaker that, ranching is a private business and should be left at that without government doing any form of land acquisition for the purpose of ranching.

Onobun appreciated the peaceful way the civil society group have conducted itself in most civil manner. He explained that, what was deliberated in plenary was to empower the committee that will be regulating the setup of ranches in ensuring that communities will not allocate lands beyond a certain size of land to ranch owners. He assured the group that there is no way they will pass a law not in the interest of the people as representatives of the people.

Comrade Osazee Edigin, a former Public Relations Officer, told the speaker that Edo state government have not be doing well in the dissemination of information to the public which overtime has given room to speculations. He enjoined the speaker to ensure consultation with all critical stakeholders to be able to come out with a robust law that would address all pending issues on open grazing.

Members of Edo Civil Society Organisations took their protest to the Secretariat of the Nigerian Union of Journalists where they were received by the council chairman, Comrade Festus Alenkhe JP. Alenkhe promised to ensure his members report the positions of the civil society as well as reaching out to the government for reaction in putting together balance reportage.

Members of EDOCSO have vowed to follow the process of the bill through not to leave any stone unturned.

Leftist Aliyu Umweni
Interim Public Relations Officer,
Edo Civil Society Organisations (EDOCSO)


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