Environmentalist urges Dickson to consolidate Bayelsa ban on open grazing with legislation
Posted by News Express | 16 December 2016 | 1,233 times
Environmentalist Alagoa Morris.
A renowned Environmentalist and Human Rights Activist, Mr. Alagoa Morris, has applauded Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson for the recent ban on open grazing and restriction of activities of herdsmen in Bayelsa, urging him to consolidate the ban with a legislation.
The Governor had on December 8, announced a restriction of herdsmen to Bayelsa Palm area of the state capital, Yenagoa, to check indiscriminate grazing.
Alagoa who reacted to the development in an interview noted that the ban on open grazing was timely and a right step to preserve the economic interests of farmers in the state.
He said that farmers in the state had lost their crops to uncontrolled grazing by herdsmen, a development that has led to conflicts between farmers and herdsmen.
The activist further urged the state government to consolidate the restriction of herdsmen and pans to establish cattle ranches in the state with enabling legislation.
Alagoa observed that an enabling law would provide a legal framework to penalise and prosecute offenders and recommend appropriate punishments that would deter potential offenders.
“I applaud the governor for listening to the yearnings of farmers across Bayelsa, it shows that the government in Bayelsa is a listening one, it shows that government is sensitive to media reports.
“They say in local parlance that ‘fence makes good neighbours, you know your limits, that is why if actually they are going to talk about and strategise about this ranch of a thing, I will say, it will help.
“The farmers should know their limits, the nomadic people will also know their limit because this nomadic life should have a limit, it should stop. In other developed climes they don’t do that.
“And all these types of things are taken as indices of development, allowing these cattle to move about anyhow in this nomadic fashion also shows that we are far from development.
“And again, the ranch as good as it is, the government should follow up the pronouncement with a legislation, a holistic legislation,” Alagoa said.
He advised that the laws should work out details on ownership of the ranches and other salient conditions to forestall future conflicts with communities where the ranches will be sited.