6 February 2018

Nigeria: Benue Won't Succumb to Pressure to Repeal Anti-Open Grazing Law - Ortom

Benue State government has rejected the call by the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to repeal the state Anti- Open grazing law implemented on November 1st 2017.

This was even as the state government has reiterated its earlier call for the sack of the minister of Defence Mansur Dan Ali and the IGP for their incompetent in handling the security challenges face by the state and country at large.

The commissioner of Information and Orientation, Lawrence Onoja Jnr, who made this known during the media briefing tag "the grand conspiracy by the IGP and Minister of Defence against the people of the state" maintained that Benue State Anti-open grazing law remained the best option for herdsmen killings in the state.

"We will not keep quiet till the killings are over, our people are being killed on the daily basis and they want us to fold our arms and keep and watch, except the perpetrators are brought to book we will not keep quiet and watch our people die like chicken and property worth over N100 billion destroy by this hoodlums.

"Benue State is not satisfy with the workings of the police in the state headed by the IGP, yes we can agree that there is heavy police presence in the state, but we will not be satisfy until those persistently issuing threat and ensuring that their threats are carryout are arrested and prosecuted, what we want the police to do is to put an end to this killings.

The Benue State government hereby completely rejects the statement coming from the nation's top Police officer who ought to have available records to confirm that there have been more than 47 armed attacks by suspected Fulani terrorists on Benue State before the enactment of the anti-open grazing law and some of these attacks were before governor Samuel Ortom came into office.

"We are calling on the federal government to as a matter of urgency relieve the IGP of his position as the country's Police boss because, he has failed woefully in his duties especially as the two weeks ultimatum given to him by the Senate to apprehend the killer herdsmen has elapsed without any meaningful arrest of the culprits, but has rather resorted to unprofessionally trading blames, today he will say it is a communal clash, the next minute he will say is anti-open grazing law."

The commissioner described the statements of the police boss, and the Defence minister as highly provocative, insensitive and completely a violation of basic principles of natural justice, adding that by this, the state has lost confidence and trust in the duo in the handling the security of the state and the country. We are yet to received apology from the duo for their misleading and misguided statements

"We want to tell both the IGP and the minister of Defence that the Benue State House of Assembly has in the exercise of its constitutional power as provided in the 1999 constitution as amended that state Houses of Assembly may make laws for the state in respect to industrial, commercial or agricultural development, that was how the anti-open grazing law came into being and it followed due process, so no amount of threat will make the government think of repealing the law."

Onoja, however, called on all Nigerians to rise up and condemned the threat by this association and support the legitimate move by the Benue State government to stem the clashes between Farmers and herdsmen in the state.

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