Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
The Benue State government has called on security agencies to support the state-owned Livestock Guards to enforce the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of the state.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Animal Husbandry, Alhaji Shehu Tambaya, who made the call on Tuesday in a chat with reporters, alleged that the herdsmen are coming into Benue with thousands of their cattle without recourse to the anti-open grazing law operational in the state.
He listed some of the local government areas where the Fulani herdsmen are already present and grazing their cattle to include Kwande, Logo, Agatu, Ado and Makurdi and Yarshi community in Guma where herdsmen are grazing over 3000 cows at the moment.
Tambaya who lamented that the herdsmen are now confronting the Benue Livestock Guards who are saddled with the responsibility of ensuring compliance with the grazing law of the state.
He posited that the state government is still battling with how to ensure the return of thousands of Internally Displaced Persons who ran away from their ancestral homes over two years ago following herdsmen invasion of their communities, adding that the presence of herdsmen and cattle in those communities is further preventing the IDPs from returning home.
Tambaya stated that the situation is now making the people of the state live in fear as they don’t know what could happen any moment.
He called on security authorities to take necessary measures to prevent the breakdown of law and order in the state as well as bring the perpetrators to book no matter how highly placed or connected they might be.
The SSA hailed the federal high court judgement which declared RUGA (Rural Grazing Areas) and cattle colonies illegal in Benue State, as he urged security agencies to support the state Livestock Guards to ensure compliance with the anti-open grazing law.