Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has promised to give the ban on open grazing in the state a legal backing by sending the required bill to the House of Assembly.
The governor said his administration settled for an anti-open grazing bill to protect the people of the state.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Isaiah Odoli/Omerelu Streets in New GRA Phase 1 in Obio-Akpor Local Government Area on Wednesday, Wike said the proposed bill was in harmony with the resolution of the Southern governors.
He said: “You can’t go to the farm anymore, those who rear cattle, they’ll not allow your crops to grow. Let me say clearly, now that the House of Assembly has come back, we have to submit the bill on Anti-Open Grazing as we agreed in the Southern Governors Forum.
“So, that everybody must understand it, it’s clear, without any hesitation, we must do it to protect our farms, to protect our women, to protect our youths, so that nobody will go and kill them.
He said: “Since APC came into power, you can now see what Nigeria has turned to. Each day you wake up, you hear people are being killed. If you watch television and read the news on newspapers, you will hear so and so number are killed or kidnapped in so and so state.
“That is not what I thought all of us needed. The country is on oxygen (life support). Nobody knows what will happen next. As we are today, Nigeria is in dire need of help. Nigeria needs prayers; to our mothers and sisters, you must kneel down and pray to God to salvage this country.”
Wike also said the APC-led federal government had not done anything in Rivers state for the people describing as untrue the claim by the federal government that it was jointly executing the Bonny-Bodo road.
He said: “The only thing they are arguing now is that they are doing Bonny-Bodo Road. No, with due respect, that’s no correct. That road was supposed to be done by NLNG and the federal government. NLNG brought their N60 million, federal Government did not bring any Kobo.
“Now they are trying to use the tax that NLNG is supposed to pay to do the road. The tax would have been shared from the federation account and part of the money would have come to Rivers State. So, federal government cannot say that they’re the one doing Bonny -Bodo road. All of us are jointly doing the road.”
The governor noted that every road in the Old and New GRAs had been rehabilitated under the Urban Renewal Programme of his administration except the Orugbum Crescent in the new GRA.
Inaugurating the road project, former Senate President, Senator David Mark, said Rivers people were fortunate to have a governor, who fulfillled promises.
Mark said: “All the year round, you are bringing people to come and commission project here like me. (Rivers) Now, you have a governor who has fulfilled his promises and done beyond his promises.
“The difference between him and just providing infrastructure is very clear. He provides his own with human face. There’s humility in what he’s doing.
“If you get up today and said Rivers State, this is where we are going, everybody will follow. If you go round Rivers State; and I’m sure all of you know this, and they say who is the leader of politics in Rivers State, they will tell you it is your governor.”
In his speech, Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Elloka Tasie-Amadi said the streets prior to reconstruction, were narrow and had a good number of potholes.
He said: “Today on Omerelu street, we have a 12 meters wide reconstructed road with 1960 meters of drains and an 8 meters wide road on Isaiah Odoli St.
“Both have streetlights and road markings for good traffic management. Aside from the fact that these improvements will ease commute, reduce travel time, reduce vehicle wear and tear, enhance real estate values, make buildings and businesses in the area more attractive to patrons, enhance security, support better living standards to mention just a few benefits.”