Unongo urges Buhari to support anti-open grazing law

Unongo urges Buhari to support anti-open grazing law

Monday, March 12, 2018 10:48 pm

President Buhari and Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom at the stakeholder meeting

Dr. Paul Unongo, Chairman, Governing Board, Nigeria Educational Research and Development Institute, has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to support the implementation of the anti-open grazing law in Benue.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the law, which was enacted in July 2017, came into effect in November 2017.

The law bans open grazing of cattle and recommended the establishment of ranches by breeders.

NAN, however, reports that implementing the law has been controversial as the herdsmen have vowed to resist it.

Unongo, who made the appeal on Monday in Makurdi, at a stakeholders meeting convened by Gov. Samuel Ortom to enable them interact with Buhari during his condolence visit to the state, said that it would be difficult to implement the law without the backing of the federal government.

“The federal government should insist that the law is implemented because it is the only way to end the clashes between farmers and herdsmen,” he said.

Mr Edward Ujege, President, Mzough U Tiv, a Tiv socio political group, called for compensation for the victims of the attacks.

Ujege also urged the President to support the governor to implement the ant-open grazing law, stressing that it was the only panacea to ending the incessant farmers/herders clashes.

In his remarks, Bishop Wilfred Anagbe of the Catholic Diocese of Makurdi, regretted that the response of the federal government was “coming too late”.

He commended the federal government for its prompt intervention when flood ravaged most parts of Benue, but regretted that the response to the attacks that involved lives did not get similar attention.

Anagbe appealed to herdsmen to accept the anti-open grazing law to reduce clashes between the farmers and herdsmen.

In a brief speech, the Tor Tiv, Prof James Ayatse, called on the federal government to dualize federal roads in the state to reduce traffic gridlock.

The chairman, Benue Farmers Association, Mr Terlumun Akputu, also called for compensation for victims of attacks and urged government to rehabilitate roads in the state.

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