By Andy Esiet, Calabar
Cross River state governor, Senator Ben Ayade has signed the Cross River State Livestock and Grazing Management bill and the Public Complains and anti-corruption bill into law describing the two new laws as “master pieces of legislation” .
A statement by. the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Mr. Christian Ita said Ayade signed the bills into law at weekend and commended the speaker and members of the State House of Assembly for their foresight and dexterity in fashioning the laws.
Giving details of the law on open grazing which significantly differed from what most states have, the governor said: “contrary to what most states have done, we have made containment and control measures to define the beacons of range through which any form of ranching can be done.
“The law is very detailed. It provides penalties for straying cattle as well as cattle rustling. Anybody who steals a cattle belonging to a herds man, there is a penalty provided in the law. Any herds man who allows his cattle to stray out of the ranch, there is a penalty. So with this law, we have protected the farmers and we have protected the herders too.
“This way we we did not absolutely ban but we have controlled grazing, we have controlled movement of cattle and made a provision that all movement of cattles within the state has to be by vehicle, so, there would no more be trekking with cows through farm lands.”
On insinuations that the law has legitimatized destruction of farmlands by farmers, Ayade said, ” fr those who do not know, this law is not designed to entertain the destruction of our farm lands. It is also not designed to exterminate the business of herders because it is not only non Cross Riverians that are into livestock farming. We also have Cross River indigenes who are into livestock”.
On the anti-Corruption law, the Cross River state governor explained that it offers guarantee of transparency in the way and manner public offices are handled and “it brings the watch dog closer to us and brings us to a point where we will have ultimate value for the resources of our state.
“it is the domestication of the criminal administration law of Nigeria which Cross River has domesticated and this law derives it’s strength from the concurrence of the criminal Justice of Nigeria. Essentially, by the provisions of the new law, the Cross River state House of Assembly now has a superintending authority over the disbursement and distribution of resources of the state”.
He said “the House plays more or less a super auditing role and vested with the powers to make final statement of clearance for any expenditure that is consistent with the appropriation law of each year.
“I believe that this is ground breaking and this is very novel and this also makes it clear that you will no longer wait for somebody outside to come and investigate you. There is now a watchman taking stock of all your activities right here in your own domain”, the Governor enthused” .
Earlier, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Eteng Jones Williams expressed optimism that “the two important laws will shape the behavioural pattern of Cross Riverians.”