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Group asks Gov. Obaseki, Edo Assembly to ban open grazing


New Nigeria Initiative, a pressure group, on Tuesday in Benin urged Gov. Godwin Obaseki and the Edo State House of Assembly to urgently enact an anti-grazing law.

It noted during a protest march to the NUJ Secretariat that the enactment of the law would be in consonance with an agreement already reached by the 17 governors in the south of Nigeria.

Chairman of the group, Mr Uwadiae Odigie, said that the horror perpetrated by herdsmen on peaceful and law-abiding people of the state was no longer acceptable.

The solution, he said, was to end open grazing in the state.

“This organisation, moved by the unspeakable horror being perpetrated on peaceful and law-abiding people of Edo, initiated a Bill to ban open grazing in Edo.

“This Bill has since been sent to the Edo State House of Assembly for consideration and passage.

“After waiting in vain, we made spirited efforts to see Gov. Obaseki on the need for intervention. At the end of the day, we were directed to see the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture.

“We have been mounting pressure on the Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Marcus Onobun, on the urgent need to pass the Bill to ban open grazing in Edo, but all efforts have been in vain.

“Now it has been transparently and sufficiently established that herdsmen are the ones unleashing terror and fear in Edo.

“The horrible and shocking cases of the murder of Olajide Sowore and the recent kidnapping of elder statesman, Dickson Imasogie, and other isolated cases are proof,’’ Odigie said.

Gunmen, suspected to be herdsmen, shot and killed Olajide Sowore the immediate younger brother of Omoyele Sowore, African Action Congress Presidential Candidate in the 2019 General Elections on Sept. 4.

The younger Sowore was on his way to Ondo State from Igbinedion University in Edo where he was studying Pharmacy when he met his premature death.

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