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Reps seeks Buhari’s support for anti-open grazing law

The lawmakers believe this would put an end to the reoccurring attacks on Benue indigens by suspected Fulani herdsmen.

Members of the House of Representatives representing the Benue state have urged President Muhammadu Buhari to support the Open Grazing Prohibition law currently being implemented in the state.

This, they believe would put an end to the reoccurring attacks on Benue indigens by suspected Fulani herdsmen.

The lawmakers disclosed this while addressing journalists at the National Assembly on Friday, November 24, 2017.

They include; Emmanuel Orker-Jev, John Dyegh, Saleh Hassan, Adamu Ochepo Entonu, Dickon Tarkighir, Mark Terseer Gbillah.

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Others are; Emmanuel Udende, Dorathy Mato, Benjamin Wayo, Samuel Okwu and Ezekiel Adaji.

Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, Hon. Dyegh said the carnage and massive destruction wreaked in the people of the state has almost grounded economic activities “as people have abandoned their farms and businesses due to the ravaging activities of AK-47 bearing herdsmen, who constantly invaded our communities, destroyed farms, property, maim and kill indiscriminately.”

He continued: “Our people are still living with the sordid memories of the massacre in virtually every nook and cranny of the state, particularly in Buruku, Guma, Tarka, Logo, Agatu, Gwer West and Gwer East etc. Thousands of lives and property worth billions of naira have been lost to these inhuman actions of these so called Fulani herdsmen.

“Worried by the continued desecration of our land and a clear agenda to exterminate our people, the Benue State House of Assembly this year passed the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Bill, which was signed into law by the Governor, His Excellency, Dr. Samuel Ortom on May 22, 2017.”

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While urging President Buhari to support the Open Grazing Prohibition Law, the lawmakers condemned what they called “the campaign of calumny” against Governor Samuel Ortom.

“We use this medium to draw the attention of the federal government and make a passionate appeal to the President and Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, Muhammadu Buhari to grant full support to the Government of the State by giving a standing order to all security agencies to ensure maximum implementation of this wonderful piece of legislation.

“We hereby use this medium to draw the attention of the federal Government to the threats from and the unlawful activities of herdsmen who are violating the law and still openly grazing their cattle in Agatu and Apa local government areas of the state.

“We condemn in unequivocal terms provocative and inflammatory statements credited to the national president, A and the national secretary, of the group against the implementation of the anti-open grazing law in Benue state.”

The lawmakers said the law was not targeted at any group of people but that it permits grazing of livestock only within ranches and prohibits the movement of animals from one destination to another in the state except by rail, trucks and other vehicles.

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The Benue state government began the implementation of the Open Grazing Prohibition Law on Wednesday, November 1, 2017.

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