This news house has authoritatively gathered that there is Grazing Bill before the Imo State House of Assembly. The bill is spearheaded by Rochas Okoracha and presented by Hon. Uju Onwudiwe.
Immediately the contents of the bill was leaked, Governor Rochas and his cronies in the State house of Assembly denied it. They later altered the title of the bill following a suspected backlash.
Needless to say, we have obtained a hard copy of the Grazing bill.
On the face value, the bill pretends to be harmless and goes by a fanciful title:
“BILL FOR A LAW TO ESTABLISH AGRICULTURAL ESTATES AND FARM SETTLEMENTS IN THE THREE GEOPOLITICAL ZONES OF IMO STATE TO INCREASE, IMPROVE AND ENHANCE THE PRODUCTION OF FOOD AND CASH CROPS, LIVESTOCK, POULTRY, FISHERY AND DAIRY AND FOR OTHER MATTERS CONNECTED THEREWITH, 2016.”
Highlights of the bill are as follows.
- The Governor shall by special instrument acquire productive lands in all the 3 Geopolitical Zones of Imo State for the purpose of establishing Agricultural Estates and Farm Settlements.
- An agency to be known as the ‘Imo State Agricultural Estates and Farm Settlements Agency’ shall be established.
- There shall be established for the Agency, a Governing Board.
- A member of the Agency will treat as confidential any information which has come to his/her knowledge and will not disclose any information related to his to a third party.
- Three leading farmers from the private sector, one each from Owerri Orlu and Okigwe Zones will be appointed by the Governor.
- A member of the governing board may at any time be removed from office by the Governor.
- The Agency shall not obtain any loan whether local or foreign without the approval of the Governor.
- The Farm Settlements shall maintain operational offices in Orlu, Owerri and Okigwe geo-political zones which shall coordinate operations of the Farm Settlements for the purpose of the production of livestock, and Dairy etc.
Purpose of the bill
- To forcefully transfer agricultural lands from Imolites to those whom the Governor will select.
- To control farming by ensuring that only a select are allowed to farm on large scale.
- To extinguish subsistence farming through which many families in the State survive.
- To pave way for Fulani herders to have legal control of lands and use same for grazing.
- To Islamize Imo State.
- To handover productive lands in the State to those whom the governor so chooses.
Imo State is not a dairy producing State. Imolites should stand up against Rochas and his evil Grazing bill.