By Ike Uchechukwu, Calabar

Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has signed the Cross River State Livestock and Grazing Management Bill into law. Ayade also signed the Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Bill recently passed by the state House of Assembly into law.

At the signing ceremony in the Governor’s Office, Calabar, Ayade described the two new laws as master pieces of legislation. He commended the speaker and members of the state House of Assembly for their foresight and dexterity in fashioning the laws.

H said: “Contrary to what most states have done, we have made containment and control measures to define the beacons of range through which any form of ranching can be done.

“The law is very detailed. It provides penalties for straying cattles as well as cattle rustling. Anybody who steals a cattle belonging to a herdsman, there is a penalty provided in the law.

“Any herdsman who allows his cattle to stray out of the ranch, there is a penalty. So, with this law, we have protected the farmers and we have protected the herders too.

“This way, we did not absolutely ban but we have controlled grazing, we have controlled movement of cattle and made a provision that all movement of cattle within the state has to be by vehicle. So, there would no more be trekking with cows through farm lands.”

He debunked insinuations that the law has legitimatized destruction of farmlands by farmers, noting, “For those who do not know, this law is not designed to entertain the destruction of our farm lands.”

On the anti-corruption law, he explained that it offers guarantee of transparency in the way and manner public offices are handled.

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