The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom on Friday gave a matching order to the state’s Livestock Guards to impound any cattle seen grazen in the open in line with the state’s anti-open grazing law.
The governor, who disclosed that armed herdsmen have been flooding the state in recent times with large herds of animals despite the high level of awareness creation to the existence of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law, gave the order in Makurdi while inspecting impounded cows at the quarantine unit of the state Ministry of Agriculture.
According to Ortom, the enforcement of the ranching law would continue to enable those who wish to do livestock business comply with its provisions.
He also disclosed that several herds of cattle had been impounded and quarantined in other local government areas in the state and that trucks have been acquired by government to help Livestock Guards convey impounded livestocks from long distances to quarantine units for safe keeping.
Describing the influx of the armed herdsmen as life threatening, the governor said such would not be condoned by his administration, adding that over four hundred herders have been arrested and are being prosecuted at various stages.
Insisting that there was no intention to repeal the ranching law, Ortom noted that ranching remains the global best practice of animals husbandry, urging all Nigerians to key into it with a view to ensuring peace between herdsmen and farmers.
Speaking during the governor’s visit, the state Commander Livestock Guards, Mr. Linus Zaki reveal that his men had arrested three herdsmen during the recent operations.
According to him, 214 cattle were impounded in Ukum LGA, 69 in Logo, 219 in Guma, 96 in Makurdi and 16 in Gwer West LGA.