The Benue State government has warned that anyone who violates the ranching law already promulgated by the Governor Samuel Ortom administration, will be prosecuted.
This warning was contained in a press statement issued by Mr. Terver Akase,
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, on February 27, 2020.
The full statement reads thus:
ANYONE WHO VIOLATES BENUE’S RANCHING LAW WILL BE PROSECUTED
It has become necessary to remind pastoralists moving into Benue State with their livestock in the last couple of weeks that there is a law in force in the state which has placed a permanent ban on open grazing of animals.
No individual or group of persons is above the law. Whoever wants to do livestock business in Benue should remember that there is a law in place which regulates animal husbandry. The herdsmen who are invading the state with their cattle in gross violation of the law should 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.
Herders or livestock owners who refuse to keep their animals in ranches will be prosecuted in accordance with provisions of the Law.
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 pastoralist has applied for land lease to operate a ranch. This is a clear indication that the herdsmen 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.
Governor Ortom is committed to supporting security agencies to guarantee peace in all parts of the state as he has been doing.
Chief Press Secretary
February 27, 2020.