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Wike: Rivers Assembly’ll legalise Anti-Open Grazing Bill

Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, says that the State House of Assembly will give legal backing to the ban on open grazing in the state in a bid to protect people of the state from marauding herdsmen. Wike also said that in addition to protecting farmlands, women and youths in the state, the move was in line with the recent resolution made by the Southern Governors’ Forum.

The governor, who spoke yesterday at the inauguration of the Isaiah Odoli/ Omerelu Streets in New GRA Phase 1 in Obio-Akpor Local Government Area, said the Anti-Open Grazing Bill would be sent to the State House of Assembly so that everybody understands the bill. He said: “You can’t go to the farm anymore; those who rear cattle will 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.” Wike asserted that Nigerians, who had considered the All Progressives Congress (APC) as better alternative to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015, must be regretting the deplorable condition of the country under APC. “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 noted that Nigeria was now on life support and requires prayers from wellmeaning Nigerians in order to salvage the country. “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.” Governor Wike also stated that the APC-led Federal Government has not done Nianything in Rivers State for the people. He described as untrue the claim by the Federal Government that it is jointly executing the Bonny- Bodo roads. “The only thing they are arguing now is that they are doing Bonny-Bodo Road.

No, with due respect, that’s not correct. That road was supposed to be done by NLNG and the Federal Government. NLNG brought their N60 billion, but the 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, the Federal Government cannot say that they’re the one doing Bonny-Bodo Road. All of us are jointly doing them. Wike stated that every road in the Old and New GRAs have been rehabilitated under the Urban Renewal Programme of his administration except the Orugbum Crescent in the new GRA.

The motivations, he said, is to restore the beauty and serenity of those government reserved residential areas. According to him, henceforth, no street traders will be tolerated along those roads because their wares will be impounded.

 

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