As the Open Grazing Prohibition Law comes into effect in Benue state today, Governor Samuel Ortom has restated his commitment to safeguarding the lives and property of his people, even if it requires seeking redress at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, The Netherlands.
Governor Ortom made the pledge through his deputy, Benson Abounu while addressing state residents, including youths during a sensitization walk to signal the end of open grazing in the state.
Vowing not to renege on his promise of protecting the people from herdsmen attacks, the state governor said the implementation of the law would promote peaceful coexistence among indigenes and non-indigenes residing in the state.
“As a law-abiding government that believes in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we will not shy away from our responsibilities to protect the lives of all the inhabitants of Benue State against any forceful perpetration of criminal injustices. That is why this law came into being. And from today, the law will come into full force because for close to five years, herdsmen killed thousands of Benue people and it was almost becoming a pogrom,” he said
“If it means going to the International Criminal Court at The Hague, talking to people, sensitising, singing and shouting, this government will go the whole hog to protect the lives and properties of our people.” he added.
Meanwhile, leaders of Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa communities at the occasion, pledged their support for Governor Ortom, the grazing law and its full implementation.
Also speaking on behalf of Benue Youths Forum; comprising members of Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa extraction, was Daniel Nyikagh who declared the group’s support for the governor.
“The law is the panacea to the pogrom we witnessed in our state; it is not intended to chase anyone away, but to ensure peaceful coexistence.” he said.
Placards carried during the sensitization walk bore inscriptions such as ‘No more wild grazing in Benue,’ ‘Benue people stand with Governor Samuel Ortom,’ ‘Herdsmen respect our laws,’ ‘We are tired of burying our people’ and ‘Open grazing prohibition law is for peaceful coexistence.’
Agronigeria (2017) VIEW LINK