Rising from a meeting with the state and zonal leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, Governor Samuel Ortom told newsmen that the umbrella body of Fulani herdsmen were asking for more time “ to enable them adjust and conform with the (anti-open grazing) law” passed by the Benue state government.
Speaking at the Benue Peoples House in Makurdi on Tuesday, he maintained that there is no alternative to the ranching law enacted by the Benue state government to regulate livestock business.
The governor, however, assured that the law would be implemented with a human face, stressing that the ranching law was the collective decision of Benue people hence he lacks the powers even as Governor to reverse or make adjustments to it.
Ortom had before now wondered why some persons were opposed to the Anti-Open Grazing Law 2017 of Benue state, recalling that when Zamfara state enacted Sharia Law no one resisted it.
He disclosed that while the law was being implemented, “discussions between MACBAN and Benue state government would continue with a view to fashioning out ways of ensuring peace between farmers and herdsmen in the state”.
The governor stated that the main objective of the meeting was the arrest and confiscation of some cattle in breach of the ranching law, saying the state government had agreed to release the cattle to their owners after the payment of fines as stipulated by the law.
In his remarks, North Central Zonal Chairman of MACBAN, Alhaji Danladi Chiroma stated that his members were ready to obey the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law and to cooperate with the Benue government to expose criminal elements responsible for the current crisis in the state.