Anti Open Grazing Law Still In Force In Benue – Alia


…Says Government will do everything to ensure the herders return back to where they came from

Benue State governor, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia has said the state’s Open-Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law is still in full force in the state.

The Governor disclosed this on Monday, February 19th, 2024, when he held an interface with leaders of various unions in the state, at the old Banquet Hall, Government House, Makurdi.

He said the essence of the interface was to intimate the unions on the happenings both in the state and at the national level, and to also appreciate them for their support for the administration.

He charged the unions to always ensure peaceful and friendly coexistence amongst them, urging them to be cordial in their dealings and resolutions without always involving the courts, and to also not allow themselves to be used by anyone to destabilize the peace in the state.

Speaking on security, governor Alia said the recent influx of the herders and their cattle in the state is because some persons had written to the herders in neighbouring countries such as Niger Republic, to come and settle back in Benue, as according to them, the anti-open-grazing prohibition and ranches establishment law has been relaxed.

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“I feel quite sad however, as the security report has it on good authority that, there are certain people who are responsible for the influx of the herders in the state.

“They even went out of their way, to go all the way to the Nigerien border to invite the herders to come in; that the law they had in Benue before is then, and so nothing is going to happen.”

The governor however, assured the people of the state that the law is in force, and has not been relaxed by anyone.

“My dear people of Benue, on very good authority, I want you to know that the Anti-Open Grazing law is still in place.

He promised that his administration will do everything possible to ensure the herders return back to wherever they came from, admonishing the youths not to unlawfully take their cows, in order not to add more troubles for the state.

On the recent protests in some states as a result of hardship in the country, the governor said the federal government is not resting on its oars to ensure the hardship reduces to the barest minimum, pleading with the unions and their members not to resort to protests.

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He said his administration, on its part, provided fertilizers and has also paid NECO and WEAC examination fees as ways of cushioning the hardship, promising to always prioritize the welfare of the people of the state.

The governor who further assured of his administration’s determination to create an enabling environment for all businesses to thrive in the state, warned crisis entrepreneurs to desist, as the government will not take it likely with them when caught, adding that Benue is bigger than an individual or a clique.

He called on well-meaning Benue people around the world to continue to support the government, so as to move the state forward.

Responding on behalf of the unions, Mr. Stephen Lawal, who spoke on behalf of the Transport Unions as well as Mr. Ben Awuhe, who spoke on behalf of the market unions, all appreciated the governor for bringing stability in the unions and for setting up monitoring and coordination teams in the markets.

They urged the governor to keep up the momentum, assuring him of their continued support.

Sir Tersoo Kula,
Chief Press Secretary to the governor of Benue State

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