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Benue gov’t, Myetti Allah meets over implementation of grazing law

The Benue State Government and the leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) have agreed to ensure the implementation of the state’s…

The Benue State Government and the leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) have agreed to ensure the implementation of the state’s anti-open grazing law.

Our correspondent reports that the agreement was reached on Friday during a meeting in Makurdi which was convened by the two Special Advisers on Security to Governor Hyacinth Alia.

The meeting involved the chairmen of the 23 local government areas of the state, leadership of MACBAN and some traditional rulers in the state.

Special Adviser on Security and Internal Affairs, Chief Joseph Har, said at the meeting that the law prohibiting open grazing in the state was still in force and must be obeyed, noting that cattle rearing remains a lucrative business and as such, all who engage in it irrespective of tribe, must practise ranching.

Har emphasised that owners of cattle should provide all facilities needed for their business as government would not take such responsibility.

He emphasised the need to have a peace committee between the farmers and herders for strict enforcement of the law, urging the herders to ask the invaders to leave.

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“As you go back, tell your people not to react but be peaceful. We do not want to expose our people to any menace but advise them to remain calm. The large influx of cattle into the state is worrisome and disturbing.

“If you are doing business and someone comes to infringe on it, you will not be happy. Tell them to leave or it will be assumed that you (internal herders) invited them. We will not tolerate anyone infringing on our right. The governor’s silence should not be mistaken for weakness,” the security adviser said.

On his part, the state Chairman of MACBAN, Ardo Mohammed Risku, maintained that there must be sincerity by all stakeholders as regards ranching, frowning at the insistence on the herders to ranch while others refused to do so.

“Let us be sincere not to bring back the past. We should be sincere about ranching. Why should non-Fulani who have cattle not ranch their cattle but they insist the herders must ranch?

“As a leader, I do not know all the locations, no stranger can overtake the host. We will collaborate with the government to chase away external herder invaders,” Risku said.

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