…Threatens to sanction violators
By Samuel Oyadongha
BAYELSA State government has given all cattle rearers and other livestock breeders 14 days to move their animals from farmlands and bushes across the state to the Elebele Palm in the outskirts of Yenagoa or risk sanction.
The ultimatum was given after a meeting between the Livestock Management Committee and the leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria in charge of South-South, at the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, David Alagoa disclosed this in Yenagoa.
The government, it will be recalled, had recently enacted a law “Livestock Breeding, Rearing and Marketing Regulation Law 2021,” prohibiting open grazing by livestock in the state.
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The essence of the law which was assented to by Governor Douye Diri is to ensure harmonious living between cattle dealers and citizens of the state and to forestall violent clashes being experienced in other parts of the country.
Alagoa who is also the chairman of the committee described the deliberation as fruitful, saying that the ultimatum which expires on April 10, 2021, was given “after due consideration, taking into cognizance the technicalities involved in the cattle business.”
Also, Special Adviser to the Governor on Security Matters, Akpoebi Agberebi, a retired commissioner of police said, the law is devoid of ethnic and religious colouration, while the leader of the Miyetti Allah, Mohammed Abubakar, expressed their readiness to move their cattle to the designated place given to them by the state government.
In his remarks, Chairman of Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, Central Zone, Clever Inodu, expressed appreciation to Ijaw youths for their peaceful disposition to the activities of herdsmen in the state and urged them to exercise more patience.
Inodu, who is also a member of the Livestock Management Committee, advised residents of the state not to panic within the 14 days grace period, as the movement of the cattle would take place at night.
The meeting had in attendance, the state Deputy Commissioner of Police, Aminu Alhassan, the Director of Livestock, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr Emara Ibegu, His Royal Majesty King Dumaro Owaba, the Obanobhan of Ogbia Kingdom and His Royal Majesty, King Mozi Agara of Kolokuma.
Others include Mr Geoffrey Agulata who is the Secretary of the Committee, and the Chairman, Cattle Dealers and Rearers Association, Bayelsa State, Alhaji Bello Muhamand.