Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom has finally announced prohibition of open grazing in the state.
He made the declaration in a state-wide broadcast Wednesday morning in Makurdi, the state capital, marking the commencement of the implementation of the Anti-Open Grazing Law.
Governor Ortom advised residents of the state, who are into cattle or livestock rearing, to obey by the new law.
His speech reads in full:
Fellow Nigerians and Benue citizens.
Today, first November 2017, marks the beginning of the prohibition of open grazing in Benue State. I call on all citizens residing in Benue State who are into cattle or livestock business to abide by this law.
There is no more open grazing in Benue State. All those who are interested in doing livestock business must ranch their livestock, otherwise, the law will catch up with them. Let me appeal to all citizens to be law abiding.
No one should take laws into his hands. We have put in place adequate machinery to enforce the law.
Where there are trespasses or infringements of the law, report to the appropriate quarters and it will be duly handled by the team put in place. I want to appeal to all of us to be law abiding.
The law seeks to protect farmers and herdsmen alike. The law seeks to ensure peace for all citizens. The law is not targeted at any individual or group of people or any ethnic group.
All of us must team together and work to ensure the success of this law.
We have suffered hardship, we have suffered pains, we have suffered sorrow. We have lost so much from both sides and we cannot allow this to continue as leaders with the responsibility of providing security for lives and property.
I want all citizens to join hands with Government to ensure that we adopt this method of ranching which is the global best practice for all those in livestock business all over the world.