From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The anti-open grazing law in Bayelsa State is under serious threat as herdsmen have been violating the laws in recent times.Governor Douye Diri had, on March 10 2021, signed into law the anti-open grazing law known as Livestock Breeding, Rearing and Marketing Regulation Law.
He had also set up the Livestock Management Committee, headed by the Commissioner of Agricultural Resources, Mr David Alagoa, with members also drawn from the security agencies to enforce the law.The enforcement Chairman of the committee, who is also the Chairman of Ijaw Youth Congress (Central zone), Clever Inodu, had, in company of security agencies in late November, arrested some herders and their cows around Onopa and Zarama, both in Yenagoa Local Government Area, for violating the law.
However, investigations revealed that fear of reprisals from herders and lack of protection by security agencies in the state have made the people tight-lipped in reporting offenders to the appropriate authority.
There have been reports of herders violating the law around Gbarantoru in Yenagoa Local Government Area, the Airport at Amassoma in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, Elebele in Ogbia Local Government Area and Zarama in Yenagoa Local Government.
A concerned governor Diri had to charge the youths of Elebele, led by its President, Famous Egbo, to stand up and ensure the enforcement of the law.
(Continued on www.sunnewsonline.com)
Diri, who was on an inspection tour of on-going projects days before Christmas, was seen in a viral video posted by one of his social media aides, ordering the arrest of cows and the herder in charge at Elebele for violating the law.When contacted on phone, Alagoa, who is the Chairman of the Management Committee to enforce the law, said there was no cause for alarm, noting that the law is still in active force.
Also in an interview, Inodu insisted that the enforcement committee is working to ensure violators are arrested, prosecuted and sentenced. He said some violators were arrested on Christmas Day and they were in detention pending their prosecution.
Egbo said herders and cows were still terrorising the people even after Governor Douye Diri ordered the arrest.