The senate has passed the second reading of a bill seeking to prevent the extinction of donkeys.
Despite disapproval by senate minority leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe and spokesman of the senate, Ajibola Basiru, the bill was passed on Tuesday.
Citing a number of provisions in the constitution, Abaribe said the senate is not empowered to legislate on the matter going by the law.
The minority leader said the upper legislative chamber should not break the law for “residual matters” that are the responsibility of the state or local governments.
“We do not break laws for residual matters that are left for the states and local governments as the case may be,” he said.
“Livestock and matters of that nature are not expressly provided for in the constitution.”
Kicking against the bill, Basiru said that a matter is desirable, does not mean the senate can legislate on it.
“By section 4(7) any matter not in the concurrent list is a matter for the states,” the senate spokesman said.
“It is beyond whether donkeys are going extinct or not.”
But Sabi Abdullahi, deputy whip of senate, said the bill is necessary owing to the concern that donkeys in the country may go extinct.
“Every country should be concerned about their flora and fauna and the balance of the ecosystem,” Abdullahi said.
Thereafter, Senate President Ahmad Lawan allowed Yahaya Abdullahi, senate leader and sponsor of the bill, to lead a debate on it.
While leading the debate, the senate leader said the bill is seeking to ensure that donkeys are ranched to preserve them.
After it was passed for second reading, Lawan said the senate is concerned about the extinction of donkeys and how it “affects the ecosystem”.
The senate president referred the bill to the committee on agricultural matters which is expected to report back in two weeks.