A mild drama played out on the floor of the House when the member representing Obio/Akpor Constituency 2, Micheal Chinda stood against the passage of the Rivers State Prohibition of Open Rearing and Grazing Bill, 2021.
The Obio/Akpor lawmaker cited a section of the Bill which has a clause restricting livestock from moving on footpaths except permitted by relevant government agencies.
He noted that the Bill if passed as sent to the House by the executive will pose a threat to the business of livestock farming by his constituents and prayed the House to amend that section to accommodate the interest of his constituents.
“There is a particular section of the bill that pose threat on the people of my constituency, restricting them from moving their live stocks on foot except permitted by law.
“I urged the house to look into that part and make amends on it for the interest of my people.”
This led to heated debate which forced the House to reconvene a rare second Committee of the whole, however Chinda voted against the passage of the Bill as against 16 others who voted in support of the Bill.
Despites the disagreement, the Rivers State House of Assembly passed the controversial Rivers State Prohibition of Open Rearing and Grazing Bill 2021 and the Rivers State Residency Registration Bill 2021.
The Assembly passed the both bills after the Joint House Committee on Prohibition of Open rearing and grazing summited its report.
Ruling on the Bills, speaker of the Assembly, Ikuiny-Owaji Ibani said the bills were intended to end farmers and herders’ clashes, and to get data of residents of the state for proper planning by the state government.
Recall that the House also passed the Rivers State Residents Registration Agency Bill 2021.
Speaker Ikuinyi Owaji-Ibani, in his resolution after the committee of the whole, said the bill will enable the state enhance effective service delivery.
The house adjourned sitting till Wednesday 1st September, 2021.