Abia State House Of Assembly Tasks Security Agencies On The Activities Of Herdsmen

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The Abia State House of Assembly has tasked security agencies in the state to ensure the vacation of herdsmen at Akolifu Alayi, Ezeukwu, in Bende Local Government Area and other parts of the state in the interest of peace. This was part of the recommendation of the Committee on Boundary and Security Matters following a petition submitted to the House on invasion of farmlands by herdsmen some parts of Bende Local Government Area on June 22.

Presenting the report, the Chairman, House Committee on Boundary and Security Matters, Cosmas Ndukwe said the invasion of farmlands by herdsmen in Akolifu Alayi and Ezeukwu all in Bende Local Government Area have caused problems including the destruction of farmlands, raping and maiming of the people in the area. He said though the security agencies after thorough investigations asked the herdsmen to vacate the area, they are yet to do so.
The committee recommended that the site at Achara along Alayi and Ezeukwu should be vacated with immediate effect. It urged the Transition Committee Chairman of the Local Government should ensure the maintenance of law and order in the area pending lasting solution to the problem. The committee also urged the General Officer Commanding, GOC, Goodluck Jonathan Barack in Ohafia to monitor the activity of herdsmen in the said areas and other parts of the state.
The committee further revealed that Abala Community in Obingwa is also under attack by the herdsmen.
Also the House Committee on Public Petitions presented its report on oil companies operations in Owaza Community and traditional rulers, as submitted by the Owaza Graduates Association.
The Chairman of the Committee, Thomas Nkoro recommended that any company operating within and around the Owaza community should consider the graduates of the area for permanent employment.

Both reports were committed to the House Committee of the whole for future legislative deliberations.
However, the Abia State Informatics Centre Bill, Abia State Equal Opportunities Bill and Abia State Co-operate Social Responsibility Agency Bill, passed first reading on the floor of the house.

The House further deliberated on the Abia State Tourism and Services Development Board and Abia pensions Bill were considered for second reading.
Leading the debate on Abia State Tourism and Services Development Board, the member representing Isiala Ngwa South, Chikwendu Kalu noted that tourism is very important to the development to the development of the state as obtained in other states especially with the dwindling oil price and the diversification of the economy. He said the bill seeks to improve the tourism industry and amenities in the state, and also co-ordinates tourism in the state. Other members of the house who aligned themselves to the bill said it would generate revenues and attract investors as well as even development.
Also leading the debate on Abia Pensions Scheme, the member for Umuahia South, Kelechi Onuzuruike, decried that a lot of pensioners die in the process of waiting for unpaid pensions after rendering services to the state. Onuzuruike argued that the establishment of extension system through the contributory system would salvage the situation.
According to Onuzuruike, the bill will among other things ensure that everyone who worked with the states civil service would receive his pension as and when due, set uniform rules, regulations and standards for administration of benefits to retired civil servants and also domesticate the 2014 pension act in the state.

The Speaker of the House, who described the Bill as straight forward, committed it to the House Committee on Civil service Matters. They are to report back to the house in six weeks.

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