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Plateau Youths to Submit Open Grazing Prohibition Bill to Assembly

A pressure group, Plateau Youth G17 Peace and Progressive Forum, says it has prepared a bill on prohibition of open grazing and will soon present same to the Plateau House Assembly.

Mr Yaks Danja, its spokesman, disclosed this on Thursday in Jos, when he led the group on a visit to the Plateau chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).

Danja said that the need for a law to prohibit open grazing was long over due in Plateau “because of the persistent clashes between herders and farmers”.

“We prepared a bill which, by the grace God, will soon be presented to the Plateau House of Assembly for consideration and passage into law.

“The law will prevent destruction of farms, community ponds, settlements and property by open grazing.

“The law will also protect the environment from degradation and pollution caused by open rearing and over grazing of livestock.

“It will also optimize the use of land resources in the face of overstretched land and increasing population,” he said.

He said that the law would encourage the establishment of ranches with the permission and approval of the state government.

The official stated that before the preparation of the bill, the group had visited Benue, Ekiti and Taraba states that had enacted similar laws.

According to him, the visit enabled the group to get first hand information on the processes that culminated into the law and the way it was being implemented.

“The ultimate goal is to restore permanent peace on the Plateau; we have conferred with critical stakeholders on the Plateau and believe that we are on the same page on the quest for peace,” he said.

He said that the group had also visited each member of the Plateau House of Assembly to solicit support for the bill, and urged journalists to support the move.

In his response, Mr Paul Jatau, Chairman of the NUJ in Plateau, commended the group for the initiative, and declared the council’s readiness to partner with groups concerned with restoring permanent peace to Plateau.

“Journalists, like other Nigerians, need a peaceful environment to operate and shall, therefore, support your efforts toward a Plateau we shall be all happy to call our own,” he said.

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