Benue postpones implementation of anti-grazing law

Fulani Herdsmen [Credit: Today.ng]
Fulani Herdsmen [Credit: Today.ng]

Stakeholders in Benue on Monday agreed to begin the implementation of the 2017 Anti-Open Grazing Law in November.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the law, which was signed by Governor Samuel Ortom in June, gave herdsmen a deadline of October to end open grazing and replace same with ranching from November 1.

The stakeholders formally endorsed the deadline at the expanded State Security Council meeting held at the Benue People’s House, Makurdi.

The stakeholders advised the government to step up enlightenment ahead of the deadline, in view of the importance of the law.

They also agreed that the law was not targeted at any tribe or group of persons, and urged all Benue residents to support it.

NAN quotes Mr. Ortom as explaining that the expanded security meeting was to enlighten all stakeholders about the law and how it would be implemented. 

Mr. Ortom further said that ranching was the best system of cattle rearing the world over, stressing that his administration was willing to support herdsmen or people willing to stay in Benue and ranch their cows.

He denied reports that government had given quit notice to herdsmen in Benue, explaining that they were free to remain in Benue “so long as they obey the law”.

“The law does not provide that herdsmen should leave Benue; it only encourages herdsmen and any other individual, who wishes to rear livestock, to do so within ranches so as to minimise clashes between herdsmen and farmers.”

Speaking on behalf of the traditional rulers, James Ayatse, the Tor Tiv and Chairman, Benue State Council of Chiefs, commended the government for the steps so far taken toward implementing the law.

Mr. Ayatse, who was represented by Tor Kwande, Ambrose Iortyer, urged herdsmen to embrace change as ranching was the best option worldwide.

In his remarks, the Benue Coordinator of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, MACBAN, Garus Gololo, said that his members were law-abiding citizens ready to support the anti-open grazing law.

Mr. Gololo said that his association was not behind the suit against the Benue Government over the law, explaining that Miyetti Allah Kautal Kohe leadership were behind the court action. 

Benue, as well as a few other states, over the years, have been rocked by perennial clashes between herdsmen and farmers over usage of land leading to bloodletting and destruction of property.


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  • Frank Bassey

    This law will eventually not be implemented in Benue. Gov. Ortom does not have the nerves to push it; he is lilly-livered.

  • udemeobong

    Their is something smelling here. Order from above perhaps?

  • ASIWAJU ABDOT

    thats a good steps in curbing the problem faced by the 36 federating states like i rightly sad federal government can not govern state for you or interferes into any state’s constitution if it does not affect the security of the country,but rather it will uphold the constitution of each federating state for better governance.i’ll enjoined other states to follow suit and protect their communities constitutionally rather than individual taking laws into their hands.

  • John Middle Belt

    Governor Ortom, please go ahead and implement the anti-grazing Bill. What do you stand to gain by not implementing the Bill? The Igede, Idoma, Ufia and Tiv are watching you.

    • efada acha

      How about the etulo,abakwa,jukun and Hausa of Benue state

  • Jon

    He is afraid of his Hausa/Fulani slave masters.

  • efada acha

    How can Garus be against the anti grazing law when ortom has already allocated grazing reserves for herdsmen in agatu island