The Bayelsa State Government on Thursday restricted the activities of herdsmen in the state to the Bayelsa Palm area in a bid to prevent the invasion of farmlands and check any security breach.
Governor Dickson, who issued the restriction order in a live radio and television interview in Yenagoa, said the measure has become imperative, in view of the recent upsurge in violence, and criminal activities of the cattle rearers in some parts of the country.
Also, the Governor warned cattle rearers against bearing arms in the course of grazing their livestock, threatening that, anyone caught with weapons would be dealt with in accordance with the law.
He said the government has been collaborating with security agencies and leaders of cattle rearers in the state, with a view to opening up designated ranches for their operations.
According to him, “No cattle should be seen roaming the streets of Yenagoa. It is a dangerous trend and we are working on a system to give them a temporary place at the Bayelsa Palm, which has over one thousand hectares. Non-state actors will be allowed to go about with weapons because government will not condone it.
“We have been taking a lot of measures to check the activities of herdsmen in the state. We condemn the attitude of herdsmen who come into the state and carry cattle to destroy farmlands.”
Shedding more light on the critical components of the 2017 budget, Governor Dickson noted that, though, the estimate is higher than that of the previous year, the government would adopt various methodologies to shore up its revenue base, through the collection of appropriate levies such as personal income, property and consumption taxes.
As part of efforts to ensure effective implementation of the budget, he said mechanisms were being re-designed to block all leakages and wastages by operating a single account, where all state revenues would be channelled to.
On rural development, he noted that, the government would commit part of the budget to address critical needs of the rural areas, pointing out that, every ward would benefit, at least a health centre, in the coming year.
Also, as part of plans to re-position the public service to enhance productivity, Governor Dickson said, hard times await absentee workers while employment opportunities would be created for qualified Bayelsans in the areas of medicine, pharmacy, laboratory science technologists, quantity surveyors and other careers.