BY PETER DURU
MAKURDI – Governor Samuel Ortom has stated that he lacked the powers to reverse or make adjustments to the Benue State Open Grazing Prohibition Law which was enacted last May in the state but came into effect on November 1.
He explained that the law which was made collectively by the people of the state was made for the collectively interest of both farmers and herders alike.
The Governor who spoke Tuesday shortly after a meeting with the state and zonal leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN in Makurdi, said the law had come to stay but would be implemented with human face.
He said, “MACBAN had requested for more time to enable them adjust and conform with the provisions of the law but i promised them that the law would be implemented with a human face and that is being done.
“However while the law is being implemented, discussions between MACBAN and Benue State Government would continue with a view to fashioning out ways of ensuring peace between farmers and herdsmen in the state.”
The Governor explained that the main objective of the meeting was the arrest and confiscation of some cattle in breach of the ranching law, stressing that the State Government had agreed to release the cattle to their owners after the payment of fines as stipulated by the law.
The North Central Zonal Chairman of MACBAN, Alhaji Danladi Chiroma said his group were ready to abide by the provisions of the law and to cooperate with the State government to expose criminal elements responsible for the current crisis in the state.