Benue govt defends anti-grazing law

The Benue State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Michael Gusa, on Tuesday submitted that the anti-grazing law recently enacted in the state had not contravened the constitution of the country.

The anti-grazing law took effect from November 1, 2017 in the state, leading to movement of Fulani herdsmen out of the state.

Gusa, in Makurdi, the State capital, said the law was not aimed at anyone but to restrain movement of livestock in the state.

He cited the sharia law enacted in Zamfara State at the inception of the present political dispensation, which prohibited sales of beer, saying, “those who could not live in conformity with the law left the state.”

“What we have done is to protect lives and property of people of the state and I’m happy to tell you that even the herdsmen are happy with the law, those who are against the law are not from this state.

“What we are saying in effect is that if you want to convey your livestock from one place to another in the state, you must carry them by truck so that they do not tamper with the property of others”.

The commissioner said the state had established six pilot ranches across the state where seized livestock would be kept.

Gusa further explained that the new law would be implemented with a human face and debunked the report that the herdsmen had started relocating out of the state

He said, “The Miyetti Allah splinter group, Kauta Hore, started the rumour that the law was meant to drive herdsmen away from Benue State but by the time we published the law and people saw it, they discovered it was all lie”.

“When they discovered that they lost in that area, they started spreading rumours that herdsmen have started leaving the state, but I tell you that no Fulani herdsman born here has left the state.

“In fact, the herdsmen are very happy and they have embraced the new law”, he said.

Meanwhile, the Chairman, Logo Local Government Area of Benue State, Richard Nyajo, has raised the alarm over an alleged plan by suspected Fulani herdsmen to attack the area.

The chairman, in Makurdi on Tuesday, said the herdsmen had formed a ring round the council area with the intention to unleashing terror on the council.

 

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