John Okiyi Kalu, (LinkMoment).
A friend drew my attention to the document (Fulani Grazing Bill Notice Paper) shown below after reading one of my articles on the same issue. I worked with other friends to verify the authenticity of the document and can now state as follows.
While the current senate of the federal republic is yet to receive any proposed bill on grazing commission the house of Rep received such a proposal.
Those who understand our bicameral legislature will understand why the senate will not receive it but the house can go ahead to work on it and send to the senate who will in turn work on it and if the “ayes” have it they will reconcile with the house and produce a final document. But note that if it dies in one chamber the other chamber will discontinue from further action.
If a senator said to you that no such bill is before them, he is right because it is not yet placed in front of them. If another senator says he is aware of the bill but that they will defeat it when it comes to them he is also correct. He may have learned of the bill from his HOR contacts and knowing how the federal legislature operates he is in order.
What really happened?
The bill was sponsored to the house of Reps by Karimi Sunday Steve but the members stepped down the consideration and requested that the proposal be consolidated with another proposal on establishment of ranches sponsored by Hon Dickson Tarkighir.
On Tuesday 15th March 2016 the authorities of the House of Rep placed the consolidated bill on the notice paper as per attached (see above). The implication is that it will come before the house plenary and will likely be voted for a committee to review and revert.
If indeed you feel strongly about the grazing right bill then prepare to storm the house of Rep and protest against it. If on the other hand you support establishment of ranches as proposed by the middle belt member also prepare to storm the house and show support.
Beside social media noise, prepare memos to the house committee stating your position and submit them through whoever is representing your constituency. Mobilize physically to the house and demonstrate for or against any aspect of the consolidated bill and kill it at the house of rep. In that way it won’t be considered by the current National Assembly again, in line with their rules.
Yet in all these, read more, think more and be less abusive and more accommodating of divergent views. Ask to see details of the consolidated bill before you support or oppose. It is your right.
Vigilance is key.
By John Okiyi Kalu