From Geoffrey Anyanwu, Enugu
Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) yesterday lauded Enugu government and House of Assembly for the legislation to ban open grazing in the state.
The group also called on traditional rulers and town union leaders in Igboland to emulate Katsina Emirate Council by invoking customary laws of their people to ban open grazing of cattle in the region.
Southern Governors Forum had recently given September deadline for every member state to enact the anti-open grazing law.
In respond to the governors mandate, Leader of the Enugu House of Assembly, Ikechukwu Ezeugwu introduced the anti-open grazing bill on August 10. The bill has passed its second reading and is due for public hearing.
A statement by ADF spokesman, Abia Onyike, yesterday, commended Enugu state government and lawmakers for taking proper steps to ban open grazing.
“We call on other states in the region to emulate Enugu state. ADF equally notes that the recent banning of open grazing by Katsina Emirate Council, which was in accordance with customary laws should be emulated by communities in Igboland. The communities should wake up and apply their customary laws to secure their lands, economic crops and natural resources.
“Since some state governments have decided not to use legislative means to ban open grazing of cattle in their states, traditional rulers and town union leaders should invoke the customary laws of their people, to defend them based on their fundamental natural and human rights,” ADF said.
It said under customary law, Igbo Communities which are mainly agricultural communities have well recognised rules/laws to protect their communities.