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Grazing reserve law in northern Nigeria criminalises open grazing – Senate Spokesperson

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The Senate Spokesperson, Dr. Ajibola Basiru, insisted on Wednesday that there was no law on grazing routes in any part of Nigeria.

Rather, the Senator, who holds a doctoral degree in property law, said the law on grazing reserves, recognised as a state law in the 1999 constitution, actually criminalised open grazing.

The Osun Central Senatorial District Senator gave the clarification in a statement personally signed by him in Abuja on Wednesday evening, titled, “No Law of Grazing Routes in Nigeria: Either North or South.”

He maintained that modern animal husbandry practices remained the panacea to herders/farmers clashes in Nigeria.

Basiru said the provisions in the said state laws which are applicable to some states in northern Nigeria, specifically made it an offence for anybody to roam about with cattle, outside of the grazing reserves.

The statement read in part, “The Grazing Reserves Laws in some states created from the former Northern Region of Nigeria are deemed to be state laws by Section 318 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

“They have been adopted from the Grazing Reserve Law of Northern Region of Nigeria (NN Law of 1965) including CAP 3 Laws of Kwara State, CAP 56 Laws of Bauchi State and CAP 55 Laws of Kastina State.

“On the case of these laws, it was expressly stated that they are adopted from northern Nigeria Laws of 1965. There is no provision for grazing routes as it is being claimed.

“There has never been federal legislation on Grazing Reserves and/or Grazing Routes in Nigeria and northern region Laws are not applicable everywhere in Nigeria.

“In fact, by the present constitutional provisions, such law cannot be within the competence of the National Assembly.

“The Grazing Reserves Laws are only applicable and enforceable in those states created from the former northern regions that chose to adopt same as part of their revised laws like Kwara, Bauchi and Katsina States.

“It appears that Jigawa State omitted the Grazing Reserves Law as part of its law in the more recent compilation of its laws.

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