Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom. Photo: TWITTER/MRUDOMEMMANUEL
Akwa Ibom State wing of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) has charged the 17 governors of southern states to initiate anti-open grazing bill in the Houses of Assembly. The group commended the governors for their courage and decision to ban open cattle grazing in the southern part of the country.
In a statement issued by the state Chairman, Franklin Isong and Secretary, Chris Ekpo in Uyo yesterday, it urged the governors to follow up their decision by sending appropriate bills to their Houses of Assembly with a view to implementing the anti-grazing law urgently.
“This is with a view to enabling Governor Udom Emmanuel to send a bill to the House of Assembly for a law to prohibit open grazing in Akwa Ibom. CLO also urges the governor to establish cattle and other livestock ranches in the 31 councils of the state.
“CLO believes that if the state government had been proactive and had the political will to push through an anti-open grazing bill, which was abandoned at its second hearing in the state House of Assembly in 2017, the state would have been safer.
“It would also have been a reference point for other states and the entire country in the face of the current insecurity caused by herder-farmer conflicts,” the statement reads.
The CLO also expressed concern that the strike embarked upon by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) has resulted in collapse of criminal justice administration in the state.
It cited the case of Iniubong Umoren, who was killed recently, while seeking a job, adding that the deceased’ family could be denied justice since the courts remain closed.
“CLO is disturbed by the collapse of the administration of justice in Akwa Ibom State. CLO sees a nexus between the rising crime wave and continued closure of courts in the state.
“Justice cannot be expected in the alleged murder of Iniubong when the courts remain shut and the police continue to hold the suspects in custody.
“The delay in prosecuting the suspects due to the closure of courts, has fuelled rumours, speculations and media trials, which could disturb public peace and truncate the case,” it said.
It urged Governor Emmanuel to implement the provision of Section 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) meant to give financial autonomy to the judiciary in the states, adding: “This will end the lingering JUSUN strike and ensure reopening of courts in the state.”
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