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Regional News Thu, 2 Nov 2006

Assembly Members want by-laws to control Fulani herdsmen

Saboba (NR), Nov. 02, GNA - Newly elected Assembly Members of the Saboba/Cheriponi District Assembly have called for the need to enact by-laws to control, fine and punish Fulani herdsmen whose activities impact negatively on communities and the environment. The Members said the presence of the herdsmen in communities in the country were not only a nuisance but was also affecting economic activities of farmers and was rapidly degrading the environment through overgrazing.

The Members made the call on Tuesday at Saboba during the first ordinary sitting of the 5th Assembly after it had been inaugurated on Monday October 30 at a ceremony.

The Members said indiscriminate bush burning, destruction of people's farms, theft, armed robbery and overgrazing were some of the negative activities of the herdsmen in various communities in the district, which needed proper dialogue, monitoring and education to control them.

According to the members, living conditions in the North were already difficult and that, if leadership of the country did not take the political will to resolve the issue, the country, particularly the north would soon turn into a desert like Mali, Burkina-Faso and Niger.

The Assembly Members suggested the by-laws to include registration of all Fulani herdsmen into the district, a fine to pay if their animals destroy farm crops and no chief should allow the Fulanis into the district without registration.

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Other problems the 43-member Assembly discussed included effective revenue mobilisation, how to address the problem of bush burning, child abuse and delinquency, the NAGRAT strike and measures to help teachers who accept postings to the district.

Earlier, Mr. Asumah Namoro Sanda, the District Chief Executive (DCE) for the area, urged members to remain committed to the electorate and help solve problems in their communities.

He said poverty was a big issue that needed to be addressed and that the people's health, education, water and sanitation issues should always be brought to bear so that health conditions in the area would be improved.

Mr. Sanda called for collective effort of members and opinion leaders to help sustain peace and security so as to achieve progress and development.

Mr. Jacob Wassan Bakatache, Presiding Member advised members to remain agents of peace in their electoral areas so as to work and improve their living conditions of the people. He thanked members for the "whole sale" manner in which they nominated and approved him and appealed for objective and constructive contribution to promote unity in the Assembly.

Source: GNA
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