Members of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Edo state chapter, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Edo Club and others socio-cultural organizations in Edo State have on Thursday rejected the passage of a bill to establish the Edo State Control of Nomadic Cattle rearing grazing law by the State House of Assembly.
Traditional rulers, religious bodies, State Government representatives and the state chapter of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) are participating at the first day of the two-days public hearing that commenced yesterday while other bodies will take their turn on Friday (today).
The associations expressed their rejection to the passage of the bill during a public hearing organized by the leadership of the Edo State House of Assembly at the complex of the chamber
The bill was allegedly sponsored by Bright Osayande (APC) representing Ovia North-East constituency 11 in the house.
However, members of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) besieged the premises of the House to protest against the passage of the bill.
The members who were armed with placards of various inscriptions as well as horrific photographs of several victims of herdsmen in some parts of the countries called for the passage of the bill.
Some of the placards’ inscriptions are, “We reject grazing bill, grazing bill is evil. Edo people say no to nomadic grazing. Don’t sell our destiny land. Kill this bill, grazing bill is oppression”.
Others are “are they really herdsmen? Edo people say no to grazing reserve. No to the killings; stop rapping and killing our mothers and daughters.”
They also protested to the palace of the Oba of Benin, to market places to sensitize market men and women on the need to stop the passage of the bill by the House of Assembly.
Chairman of CAN in the state, Oriname Oyonude Kure had at a press conference last Wednesday vowed that the body would do everything possible to ensure that the bill does not see the light of the day.
In rejecting the bill, he called on the leadership of the State House of Assembly to throw out the bill as its contents portend grave danger to the present and future generations.
While also describing the state as retroactive called on other stakeholders to come together and forge a way to restrict open grazing in the state.
On its part, Edo club, Benin-City in a statement opined that the passage of the bill would amount to usurpation of the provisions of the Land Use Act, which empowers only the local government to grant customary right of occupancy to any person or organization for the use of land for grazing purposes.
The statement signed by E.E. Igbinaduwa, president and S.A. Ikuobase secretary respectively said that the granting of customary right of occupancy of land by local government by the provisions of the land use act must for other purposes ancillary to agricultural purposes as may be customary in the local government area concerned.