Why we passed anti-grazing bill into law, by Ortom
No Ethnic Group Has Monopoly Of Violence, Says CAN President
The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has given reasons why the State House of Assembly passed the anti-grazing bill into law, saying it was the decision of Benue people and not solely that of the governor or the House.
The House had on Thursday passed the bill titled: “Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law 2017,” specifically for the prohibition of open grazing and rearing of livestock in the state.
Ortom made this known yesterday while receiving the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) led by the President, Reverend Samson Ayokunle who were in the state at the Government House, to distribute relief materials worth N8 million to victims of the Fulani herdsmen and farmers crisis.
The Governor, who vowed to ensure proper implementation of the bill when signed into law, called on the security agencies to cooperate with the government and people of the state.
He disclosed that 12 out of the 23 local government areas of the state came under siege of the Fulani herdsmen, adding that it was impossible for farming and grazing to go on in the present circumstance.
Ortom noted that the state was known to be the food basket of the nation therefore, whoever goes into livestock should embrace ranches as it was the standard all over the world.
“What you see in that bill is a decision not just of the governor or the speaker or members of the House of Assembly but that of the Benue people because the bill was subjected to public hearing and they were unanimous on it,” he stated.
The state has 23 local government areas. But 12 of the councils have been under siege by the Fulani herdsmen.“There is no way we can compete with grazing. It is impossible for grazing to go side by side with farming. And for several years we have pleaded with the herdsmen but they continued killing our people,” he added.
Speaking, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend Samson Ayokunle said they were in the state to identify with the people, expressing support to the anti-open grazing law.
Ayokunle said it was barbaric and provocative for the government to treat perpetrators of the killings as sacred cows, stressing that no ethnic group has monopoly of violence.
His words: “I think this is one of the ways to put an end to this type of unnecessary, unreasonable, unwarranted type of killings that have been going on in this state. And I hope other states will emulate this in bringing an end to the unfortunate killings.