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Taraba denies suspending action on anti-grazing law


Gov. Darius Ishaku of Taraba

The Taraba government has refuted the rumour making the rounds that the Open Grazing Prohibiting Ranches Establishment Bill recently passed into law by the state House of Assembly has been suspended.

In an interactive session with reporters yesterday in Jalingo, the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Yusufu Nyan Akirikwen, said he lacked the powers to suspend any law made by the legislature.

The commissioner, who noted that the “background to any law in any given political situation is for the purpose of good governance,” added, “laws cannot be suspended but could only be amended while the principal law still remains during amendment.”The presidential committee on resolution of the conflicts between farmers and herdsmen had pleaded with the state government to review some sections of the law to accommodate the herders, whom the panel faulted for boycotting the public hearing.

The Guardian learnt that sections 23, 24 and 25, which prescribe punishment for offenders were touted as contentious.Akirikwen regretted the widespread rumour, noting that once a law had been assented to by a governor, it remains effective. “As far as we are concerned, the law is still in force,” he stated

He said the legislation has become more imperative owing to the growing population and high demand for land to engender peaceful coexistence among the diverse nationalities in the state. “ It is on this background the state governor sponsored the law,” the commissioner asserted.

Stating that the stages of law-making had been completed, he held that Nigerians and the world at large owe the governor commendation for agreeing to revisit the aforementioned sections.He maintained that the grievances of the herders could have been well handled but for boycott of the public hearing prior to the enactment by the leadership of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria.

The Senior Special Assistant to Governor Darius Ishaku on Public Affairs, Emmanuel Bello, said his boss would continue to accommodate the interests of all to sustain peace in the state.

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Yusufu Nyan Akirikwen

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