Nigeria: Benue Won't Repeal Anti-Open Grazing Law, Ortom Insists

18 August 2020

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State yesterday insisted that no amount of threat, intimidation, or arm twisting will make him repeal the anti-open grazing law.

He raised the alarm that Miyeitti Allah is planning to foist violence on the state.

Ortom said these in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Terver Akase, titled 'Miyeitti Allah planning to destabilise Benue'.

Ortom said his offence was his dogged stand against open grazing of animals in the state and his call for the declaration of armed herdsmen as terrorists.

The statement reads in part, "For Governor Ortom who had previously come under a series of threats even to his life from armed herdsmen and their conspirators, the latest plot by these enemies of Benue State is not an unfamiliar terrain.

"The governor says he is not intimidated or distracted by the antics of armed Fulani herdsmen and their sponsors. No amount of falsehood in the media or any other platform can change his commitment to selfless service to Benue people.

"The governor says for the umpteenth time that the state will not repeal the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law to pave the way for Fulani herdsmen to take over the people's ancestral lands for cattle grazing. The Law has not only come to stay; it is fully being enforced.

"The Ranching Law has been well accepted by the people of Benue State and no intimidation or arm-twisting tactics from the named groups can change it.

"Governor Ortom urges security forces to check the activities of Miyetti Allah groups who have sworn on several occasions to foist violence on Benue, and bring their members to justice for their crimes against the people of the state."

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