Benue State Deputy Governor, Benson Abounu, has advised Ondo, Oyo and other states experiencing herdsmen crisis in the country to consider the enactment of the Anti-Open Grazing Law of Benue State.
Oyo and Ondo states have been in the eye of the storm lately over security challenges and the moves to check the activities of killer herdsmen.
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State had said the state enacted an anti-open grazing law but said there were challenges in the implementation of the law. The governor added that the cooperation of the police and other federal security forces was crucial to enforcing the law enacted to stop frequent clashes between herdsmen and farmers.
But the Benue deputy governor said the law has been working well in the state. He lauded the Benue State Police Command for doing an excellent job in enforcing the anti-open grazing law in the state.
Abounu spoke on Tuesday on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme.
He also said the state government apprehended 356 cows and six armed herdsmen recently and the offenders and their cattle were handed over to the police for prosecution.
Abounu said, “The police in Benue have done a beautiful job especially in keeping our anti-open grazing law. A good number (of offenders) have been arrested in the past and they were given fair trials. Some of them have been sentenced to correctional centres while others paid fines.
“As of today, we also have livestock guards that are all over the place to ensure that you only breed your cattle in ranches in Benue. Those who flouted the law have always been arrested and if they paid the fines they were let go.
“So, the thing is working very well and I am surprised that it is taking such a long time for other states in the federation to borrow such a leaf from Benue. What is happening in Oyo and Ondo States today would not be happening if they had come on board with us in 2016 or thereafter. This is a national issue. It should be looked at dispassionately by all sectors of Nigeria.”
The deputy governor also noted that the state government was not against breeding of cows, adding that it constantly advise herdsmen in the state to embrace the ranching system.
“We’ve been preaching to them that Benue State has nothing against the breeding of cows but what we are saying is that the best international practice in breeding cows is ranching and a good number of them are buying the idea,” he added.
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