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As part of its plans to check nomadic herdsmen, the Delta House of Assembly, on Thursday reaffirmed its commitment to secure lives and properties by enacting viable laws.
The lawmakers said that one of the ways of protecting the lives and properties of Deltans was through the initiation of a bill for the `Control of Nomadic Cattle Rearing’ in the state.
The bill would also create room for the establishment of the State Advisory Council on Grazing to repeal the Control of Movement of Animals Law 2000 and other matters connected thereto.
Speaking at a one-day public hearing on the bill, the Chairman, House Committee on Agriculture, Mr Evance Ivwurie, said the business of cattle herdsmen had become a sensitive issue both at the national and the state levels.
According to him, it is no longer news that the issue has been a major security challenge to both lives and property.
“Hence, the State House of Assembly took the bull by the horn to marshal out the robust bill to curtail the excesses, ’’ Ivwurie said.
He said the bill did not only seek to regulate the activities of nomadic herdsmen in the state but to also protect the lives of genuine herdsmen.
The lawmaker also said that the philosophy behind the bill was “basically of the doctrine of necessity, following the disregard for the lives and properties of Deltans by some unscrupulous members of the society’’. 



“The bill seeks to ensure that all nomadic cattle rearers, owners and herdsmen, who move cattle into the state, must ensure that they register such cattle.
“Any person who permit cattle to graze in areas not designated as grazing area in the state would be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be liable to two years imprisonment or pay a fine of N500,000,’’ he said
In his remark, Prof. Oke Akokotu, the State Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), commended the lawmakers for initiating the bill.
He said that CAN would not support the free allocation of grazing land to the herdsmen.
According to him, cattle rearing is a private business and anybody who wants to rear cattle should be able to acquire land for such business.
Akokotu, therefore, called for the formation of a cattle ranch in the state.
He said that CAN as a body would support the formation of cattle ranches and not free grazing land.
Akokotu advised that the two-year imprisonment for violators of the law was too inconsequential and suggested life imprisonment for offenders.
In his remark, the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Zanna, stressed the need for cattle rearers to be registered with the state government for proper identification.
Zanna, who was represented by a Deputy Commissioner of Police, Operations, Mr Undie Adie, also advised cattle owners to stop the deployment of young cattle rearers to lead cattle for grazing.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the public hearing attracted delegates across the state. (NAN)

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