Although Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has directed AGF and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami to dig up the grazing gazette to support his government’s campaign against the ban on open grazing by Southern governors of Nigeria, the Rivers State government has promised to give the ban on open grazing in the state a legal backing by sending the required bill to the House of Assembly.
Governor Nyesom Wike said yesterday that his administration settled for an anti-open grazing bill to protect the people of the state.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Isaiah Odoli/Omerelu Streets in New GRA Phase 1 in Obio-Akpor Local Government Area yesterday, Wike said the proposed bill was in harmony with the resolution of the Southern governors.
He said: “You can’t go to the farm anymore; those who rear cattle, they’ll not allow your crops to grow. Let me say clearly, now that the House of Assembly has come back, we have to submit the bill on Anti-Open Grazing as we agreed in the Southern Governors’ Forum. So, that everybody must understand it, it’s clear, without any hesitation, we must do it to protect our farms, to protect our women, to protect our youths, so that nobody will go and kill them.
“The exchange rate has now got to N510 to a Dollar. When they took over, it was N150 to a Dollar. They said they’ll give employment. Do we have employment today? Are your children employed?”
Wike said Nigeria was on life support and required prayers from the citizens to salvage the county.
He said: “Since APC came into power, you can now see what Nigeria has turned to. Each day you wake up, you hear people are being killed. If you watch television and read the news on newspapers, you will hear so and so number are killed or kidnapped in so and so state.
“That is not what I thought all of us needed. The country is on oxygen (life support). Nobody knows what will happen next. As we are today, Nigeria is in dire need of help. Nigeria needs prayers; to our mothers and sisters, you must kneel down and pray to God to salvage this country.”
Wike also said the APC-led federal government had not done anything in Rivers state for the people describing as untrue the claim by the federal government that it was jointly executing the Bonny-Bodo road.
He said: “The only thing they are arguing now is that they are doing Bonny-Bodo Road. No, with due respect, that’s no correct. That road was supposed to be done by NLNG and the federal government. NLNG brought their N60 million, federal government did not bring any kobo.
“Now they are trying to use the tax that NLNG is supposed to pay to do the road. The tax would have been shared from the federation account and part of the money would have come to Rivers State. So, federal government cannot say that they’re the one doing Bonny -Bodo road. All of us are jointly doing the road.”