The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has warned that the State will prosecute violators of its ranching law.
Ortom in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, said it became necessary to remind pastoralists moving into Benue State with their livestock that there is a law in force that placed a permanent ban on open grazing of animals.
He reiterated that no individual or group of persons is above the law and whoever wants to do livestock business in Benue State should remember that there is a law in place which regulates animal husbandry.
The Governor, further warned herdsmen invading the state with their cattle to expect legal consequences of their actions.
”The Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law 2017 is sacrosanct and must be obeyed by everyone, irrespective of ethnicity, religion and place of origin. The law does not accord preferences to anyone.
”It is also pertinent to point out that since the 1st of November 2017 when enforcement of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishments Law commenced, no cattle owner or herder has applied for land lease to operate a ranch. This is a clear indication that the pastoralists are bent on resisting enforcement of the law.
”We call on Benue people to remain peaceful, law-abiding and volunteer information regarding open grazing of animals to the state Livestock Guards whose job it is to support conventional security operatives in enforcing the legislation.
”Nigerians who wish to engage in livestock and other businesses in Benue State are encouraged to do so as the Samuel Ortom administration is willing to collaborate with investors in different sectors of the economy.”
Ortom maintained that he will support security agencies to guarantee peace in all parts of the State.
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