By Ige Olugbenga
Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria has taken Benue state government to court over its plans to implement new laws enacted to ban open grazing.
The law signed in May prohibits open rearing and grazing of animals throughout Benue and opens options for ranching to interested livestock breeders.
But, the leadership of the group, had expressed its reservation over the law which was earlier passed by the State House of Assembly on May 4 as a panacea to incessant herders and farmers clashes.
Ortom confirmed Miyetti Allah had taken the state government to court but said he was not perturbed by the decision of the group to seek to frustrate his peace efforts through legal means.
Ortom, who disclosed this on Monday in an interview with journalists at the Benue Peoples House, Makurdi, said he was not perturbed by the decision of the cattle breeders stating that the state would meet the group in court.
“The state would slog it out with the group in court,” he said.
The governor added that he would await the court’s verdict on the matter, noting, that he believes in the rule of law and would never resort to violence in addressing security challenges.
The anti-open grazing law is expected to go into effect in November.
Ortom said it is constitutional responsibility to protect lives and property including those of herdsmen, positing that the bill seeks the establishment of ranches not just for cattle but for all livestock including pigs, goats and sheep.
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