As anxiety among the people reaches a feverish level over the reappearance of a grazing bill in Imo State House of Assembly, the speaker, Acho Ihim, has said the piece of legislation was dead on arrival.
In a statement yesterday in Owerri by his Chief Press Secretary, Marcel Ekwezuo, Ihim was quoted as saying: “The proposed grazing, ranching, colony, or whatever name it may be called is already dead even before its arrival.”
The statement reads in part: “The fears in the minds of many Imolites because of the proposed grazing bill lying on the floor of Imo State House of Assembly have been doused.
“The proposed grazing bill was the same old and publicly perceived odious, detestable and obnoxious document introduced at the National Assembly which, last year, engendered a public outcry in the country.
“Rt. Hon. Ihim wishes to remind Imolites that it was due to the conviction of the members of the House of Assembly that led to the hosting of other lawmakers from the South East and South South geopolitical zones where the bill was unanimously rejected.
“It would be antithetical if not foolhardy for a House, which in the interest of the entire southern zone invested so much in ensuring that the regions rejected the bill, to now turn around to smuggle in the same most hated piece of legislation for Imolites to contend with.”
The speaker assured the citizens to go about their normal business without let or fear.
Ihim described the bill as a “very wicked proposal against the people which no single honourable member may even want its mention.”
Meanwhile, a social crusader and founder of SAVE Imo, Ekenulo Ebubeagu, has urged Governor Rochas Okorocha and the legislature to discard the contentious proposal.
In a statement, he said: “The issue of ranching is national, vexatious and bears grave risks for Ndi Imo!
“ Majority of Ndi Imo do not want ranches sited in the state for any reason whatsoever.
“As governor, you must listen to the yearnings of the people. Give them what they want and don’t impose anything on them.”