By Peter Duru, Makurdi
Consequent upon the imminent activation of the OPEN GRAZING PROHIBITION LAW, the three major ethnic groups in Benue state – the Tiv, Idoma and Igede – have declared support for Governor Samuel Ortom, urging him to ensure the full implementation of the newly enacted law which comes into effect by November 1, 2017.
Addressing reporters in Makurdi, President General of Mdzough U Tiv, Chief Edward Ujege, who also spoke on behalf of the Idoma National Forum and the Omi Ny’Igede, the umbrella bodies of the three tribes in state, maintained that all Benue indigenes were behind the Governor.
Chief Ujege said, “we are solidly behind Governor Samuel Ortom, our support for him is 110 percent. Come rain, come shine, we are with him.
“Come November 1, 2017, which is the date for the commencement of the implementation of the law, whatever legal means or action that is taken by any person or group we will remain with him. We will make sure that the law is applied to each and everyone.
“I may remind you that the law is not only about cows, fortunately it is about every animal or livestock and owners of such, irrespective of who you are or where you are coming from. It will also finally rest the cases of bloodbath in our rural communities.
“I must also point out that the law makes provision for the protection of the herdsmen, because it has provided that anyone caught involved in livestock rustling would be prosecuted accordingly. So it is out to protect the herdsmen and farmers alike.
“The law, therefore, applies to everyone in Benue but unfortunately it is only one group that is kicking against it, which shouldn’t be,” he concluded.