Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta has signed the state’s anti-open grazing bill into law. He said the law is aimed at improving security of lives and property as well as ensuring food security across the state.

“We believe that it is in the best interest of security; we also believe that it is in the best interest of ensuring food security and that it will help us to ensure that we are able to cause people from across this nation who will find themselves outside their own states inhabiting in Delta State to live with Deltans in a peaceful and respectable manner with each other,” Mr Okowa said at the signing on Thursday.

The governor further stated that the law was passed in accordance with the agreements reached at the Southern Governors’ Forum meeting earlier this year.

He assured that the measure is not intended to persecute anyone, but rather to promote peaceful coexistence based on mutual respect among state inhabitants, as well as to ensure that livestock is raised in a manner that is appropriate in today’s world.

“We believe as the Southern Governors had stated that we must start to look into other ways of ensuring that we are able to breed and that we are able to rear our cattle and other livestock in such a manner that is acceptable in modern times,” he said.

With the new law, Delta has now joined several other southern states to give legal backing to prohibition of open grazing in the region.

This is inspite of protestations from northern elements including Kaduna governor Nasir El-Rufai who said anti-open grazing laws being enacted in the South is not implementable.