Simon Utebor, Yenagoa
The Bayelsa State House of Assembly has held a public hearing on a bill seeking to prohibit open grazing of cattle in the state.
The bill entitled, ‘Cattle Breeding, Rearing, Marketing, Regulation and Control 2017 was sponsored by the Leader of the House, Peter Peretotubo Akpe, a member representing Sagbama Constituency 1.
The public hearing, which held on Tuesday at the conference hall of the Assembly Complex, was under the auspices of the House joint committees on Agriculture and Natural Resources Security and Special Duties.
Declaring the public hearing open, Speaker of the Assembly, Mr. Konbowei Benson, said the House had resolved to adopt international best practices in its operation, hence all bills being considered by the House would go through public hearing.
The Speaker, represented by the Chief Whip of the Assembly,Tonye Isenah, noted that law-making process was not the exclusive preserve of the 24-member House.
Benson said, “We want to liberalise and open up for public participation. This bill was even at the committee of the whole discussion before it was stood down in order to seek inputs from the public”
Stressing the importance of the bill, the Speaker said the House was trying to forestall a situation, having seen what was happening in other parts of the country with clashes between herdsmen and farmers.
“Even if nothing has happened at this other side, we should not rest on our laurels. We need to ensure we nip matter in the bud before we start having crisis in our hands,” he maintained.