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Monday, July 03, 2017

Gov Ortom gives herdsmen in Benue ultimatum to ranch their cattle or else….

Gov Ortom gives herdsmen in Benue ultimatum to ranch their cattle or else....

Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has given herdsmen in the state till November this year to either ranch their cattle or leave the state. He vowed stiffer penalties for those who will disobey the order. The governor’s order was sequel to the Anti-Open grazing Bill which he recently passed into law and has promised to ensure its enforcement through every means possible.

Speaking to newsmen in Abuja over the weekend, Ortom said, ‘’People must embrace ranching because it is a modern way of rearing cattle globally. I don’t think Nigerians would want to be living in the forties when we are in 2017. I have given a transition period between now and November to allow people ranch their cattle. “It is expected that those who want to stay in Benue to rear cattle must ranch, and if you cannot ranch, the law will catch up with you but those who will not ranch should exit the state peacefully.’’
Benue State has had a terrible share of the growing menace been perpetrated by suspected Fulani herdsmen across Nigeria.
However, Governor Ortom said that his government was not at war with anyone, but instead following due process to ensure that the new grazing act is implemented. He further explained that the law is not targeted against any individual or tribe but for the citizens to live peacefully.
The governor meanwhile, promised that during this transition period, the state government would carry out enlightenment campaign to educate the people about the objective of the Act.
He said, “We must learn to obey the law because it is the only thing protecting us. The herdsmen or whoever that is interested in cattle rearing must be ready to obey the law. The law also stipulates the machinery to enforce this law. “There are going to be guards who will support the conventional security agencies and the vigilante group will also render support. At the moment, there is massive exit of those who feel they cannot ranch.
“I think that we are going to come hard on violators. The anti-grazing law was unanimously endorsed by the Benue people, the target is not Fulani men but the target is those who will violet the law by destroying people’s farms. “Like I keep saying, the land is no longer there as it used to be in the fifties because of population and other human activities. We have no land for open grazing and every land in Benue has been cultivated for agricultural purpose.’’
According to the governor, land will be made available for all herdsmen who accept to ranch their cattle after going through due process by making applications and getting approval.

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