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Despite opposition, Enugu gov signs Ranch Management Bill into law

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Enugu State governor, Peter Mbah on Wednesday, signed the controversial Public Ranch Management Agency bill into law to end herders and farmers clashes in the state.

The bill had generated a lot of controversies in the state, with many accusing the governor of trying to acquire community lands for Fulani herdsmen.

The governor also assented the Enugu State Environmental and Climate Protection, Enugu State Sports Development Fund and the Enugu State Properties Protection bills into law.

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Signing the bills before the Speaker, Enugu State House of Assembly, Uche Ugwu, the governor said the laws were essentially designed to benefit people of the state.

He thanked the lawmakers for the support they had continued to give to his government and expressed gratitude in expeditious manner in which they treat executive bills.

“We did not take your supports for granted. We recognized the importance of having a legal framework to accomplish the goals we set for ourselves.

“We know we must put in place robust policies that should be guided by a legal framework,” he said.

Giving insights into the the Public Ranch Management Agency Law, Mbah acknowledged that the bill had generated a lot of controversies, misunderstood and misinterpreted by some people.

According to him, the government was accused of introducing something beyond ranching.

“We have to put an end to the idea of having cattle graze openly and creating friction between our farmers and the herders. Our objective is to ensure it ends.

“In the 24th century, there is no reason why we should encourage open grazing of cattle. The bill will help people act in a civilised manner.

“Having cattle enclosed in a location where we provide other services, ensure there is enough pasture, create abattoir and a proper cattle market,” he said.

Earlier, the Speaker, Mr Uche Ugwu, said since the proclamation of the 8th Assembly, the executive had sent critical bills to the House of Assembly and these bills do not make much meaning unless Mbah gives his assents.

“These bills will change the landscape and economy and everything that pertained to the standard of living of the citizens and residents of Enugu State,” he said. (NAN)

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