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No going back on Benue anti-open grazing law, says lawmaker

Speaker, Benue State House of Assembly, Mr Terkimbi Ikyange (Ushongo/APC), has expressed confidence that the state’s Anti-Open Grazing Law will, from Wednesday, November 1 2017, come into force.

Flashback: Governor Samuel Ortom signs the Anti-Open Grazing Bill into law May 22, 2017 as Speaker, Benue State House of Assembly, Terkimbi Ikyange, lends a hand

Ikyange, who stated this on Tuesday, October 31, 2017 while playing host to the Strict Movement Against Ravages in Tiv Land (SMART-Land) at the Assembly Complex in Makurdi, emphasised that the November 1 date for the commencement of the full implementation of the law was not negotiable.

“There is no going back on the full implementation of the Open Grazing Prohibition Law 2017,” he stressed.

Stressing further, the Speaker stated that the Assembly would continue to enact laws that would defend and protect the people and territorial domain of the state, reiterating that implementation of the law was sacrosanct.

Disclosing that the Assembly was aware of the threats by the Miyetti Allah Kauta Hore over the implementation of the law, he noted that the threats would be reported to appropriate agencies, and so, there was no cause for alarm.

The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) had appealed to the Federal Government to prevail on the Benue State Government to extend the implementation of its Anti-Open Grazing Law scheduled to take effect from Nov. 1, 2017.

National Coordinator of the association, Alhaji Garus Gololo, said the extension of the implementation time would enable both the government and herders resolve some grey areas in the law. He, however, did not disclose the duration of the extension needed.

Ikyange encouraged SMART-Land to exercise restraint by remaining law abiding, calm and support the government in its bid to implement the law.

He appreciated them for embarking on the solidarity visit, stating that it was a show of love for their people and father land.

Earlier, National Coordinator SMART-Land, Mr Sevendagas Gbakighir, said that the visit was to register their support for the full implementation of the law.

Gbakighir further said that the association also condemned the threats by Miyetti Allah in all ramifications.

It will be recalled that the law was passed by the Assembly and signed into Law by Governor Samuel Ortom on May 22, 2017.

By Damian Daga, Makurdi

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