May 29, 2024

Grazing law: Benue, C/River govts pledge cooperation to avert herders’ attacks

Grazing law: Benue, C/River govts pledge cooperation to avert herders’ attacks

Officials of both governments at the border communities

By Peter Duru, Makurdi

The Benue and Cross River State governments have pledged to work together to avert major crisis in the border communities of Vandeikya and Obudu Local Government Areas, LGAs, of both states.

This came after the situation in the two communities was at the verge of degenerating yesterday when a herd of cattle alleged to have strayed into Tsar Mbaduku in Vandeikya LGA from Obudu LGA were impounded by youths of the community for violating the Benue grazing law.

The action sparked angry reaction and while tension mounted, the Security Adviser to the Benue State Governor, Chief Joseph Har and his Cross River counterpart, Jude Chinebe quickly moved into the communities to appeal for calm and douse the tension.

Addressing the people, Chief Har who appealed for peace acknowledged that the said cattle strayed into the Benue community but did not graze on people’s farms.

He said “it must be stated categorically that both Obudu and Tiv people are not known to be cattle rearers, we are both farmers.  We are brothers who have fought in the past but have embraced peace now and nobody must be made to come between us.

“If herders or foreigners are allowed to come and graze in our states, that means you have brought enemies to cause division between us. And if there is a strike, it is the Obudu people that we know and will discuss with because herdsmen not own this place.

“Let it be clear that if you want this people to be here, let them graze in Obudu. In Benue State, we have the anti-open grazing law. We do not allow open grazing.

“Our Livestock Guards have instructions to apprehend any cattle that graze on our land.”

The Special Adviser to Cross River State Governor on State Security (North)  Comptroller Jude Chinebe (retd.) said that cattle from Obudu crossed over to Benue though without damages.

He noted that “Benue state has a law against open grazing and we must all learn to obey the law of another State.”