The Government of Benue State has reacted to an announcement credited to Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau, during which he mentioned it was inconceivable to cease the unregulated motion of cattle throughout Nigerian borders and inside the nation.
The Minister had mentioned that regulation of herders and their animals was not doable as a result of, in accordance with him, “Nigeria is a signatory to ECOWAS Protocol on free movement.”
In an announcement signed and made accessible to DAILY POST by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Samuel Ortom, Terver Akase, the Benue Government mentioned, “We discover the mentioned assertion unusual coming from a senior member of the present administration.
“Curiously, the Interior Minister’s feedback corroborate these of President Muhammadu Buhari a number of days in the past, when he appeared on a reside tv programme, The Candidates’.
“The President, who particularly berated Benue State Governor for making a regulation to ban open grazing, additionally made the next feedback in the course of the programme:
‘I expect a state government to insist on the routes to be re-established in the grazing areas. But to say that cattle cannot move is very difficult.’
“While we don’t intend to affix points with the Federal Government on the feasibility of re-establishing cattle routes or its deliberate ‘implementation of the ECOWAS Protocol’, we won’t fail to state that in Benue State, the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law 2017 has offered the wanted answer to herders/farmers disaster.
“It is necessary to emphasise that the Benue State regulation doesn’t cease the motion of cattle or different livestock. The regulation solely prohibits open grazing of livestock. This provision holds that livestock may be moved from place to put inside Benue State however solely by automobiles.
Section 19(1) of the regulation states:
‘No particular person or group shall, after the graduation of this regulation, have interaction in open nomadic livestock herding or grazing within the State outdoors the permitted ranches.
Subsections (four and 5) add that “Movement of Livestock on foot from one vacation spot to a different within the State is hereby prohibited. Such motion shall solely be by rail wagon, truck or pick-up wagon.
‘Any person(s) found moving livestock on foot within or across urban centres, rural settlements or any part of the State commits an offence…’
“The above provisions of the Ranching Law of Benue State are clear on motion of livestock inside Benue and needn’t be misrepresented as it’s at the moment being executed by officers and brokers of the Federal Government.
“The Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of Benue State additionally makes exact provisions on ranching rather than open grazing. The process for establishing a ranch is equally acknowledged within the regulation.
“We surprise why the President and his lieutenants are hell-bent on making certain that cattle routes are established throughout the nation within the 21st Century when developed nations have lengthy embraced ranching.
“Even if gazetted routes had been nonetheless in existence, the worldwide finest follow of ranching would have necessitated de-gazetting of such routes in Benue as the present inhabitants of the state had made the traditional follow of animal husbandry untenable.
“Governor Samuel Ortom had earlier beneficial a evaluate of the ECOWAS Protocol to make it more practical, and now that the Federal Government is contemplating implementation of the protocol, we expect it’s the finest time for the evaluate.
“The present protocol has provisions on procedures for trans human motion inside ECOWAS member international locations and the provisions ought to strictly be adopted.
“It should be identified that the ECOWAS Protocol permits free motion of human beings however not free motion of cattle and different livestock. It actually doesn’t embrace the indiscriminate motion of livestock throughout nationwide boundaries nor does it embrace the indiscriminate motion of armed gangs masquerading as herdsmen.
“Provisions for quarantine companies for livestock and prohibition of motion with arms in addition to rules that apply to human beings should due to this fact be enforced for improved safety within the nation.
“Ghana is a member of ECOWAS however cows are usually not solely banned from grazing brazenly in that nation however authorities there order that such cattle be killed. Here in Benue State, our regulation solely offers that livestock which infringe on provisions of the laws ought to solely be impounded and fines paid, failure of which they’re auctioned.
“It is also pertinent to stress that the Open Grazing Prohibition Establishment Law 2017” was enacted by the elected representatives of the individuals, the Benue State House of Assembly in train of its powers as offered for by part four of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended). Part 2 of the Second Schedule to the Constitution reinforces the House of Assembly’s energy by offering that “a House of Assembly may make Laws for that State with respect to industrial, commercial or agricultural development of the State.”
“With regards to possession of Benue Lands and the pure assets therein, the Preamble to the Land Use Act which can be a Constitutional provision “… Vests all Land compromised within the territory of every State (besides land vested within the Federal authorities or its businesses) solely within the Governor of the State, who would maintain such Land in belief for the individuals and can be liable for allocation of land in all city areas to people resident within the State and to organisations for residential, agriculture, business and different functions whereas related powers will with respect to non city areas are conferred on Local Governments. The Benue State Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law is due to this fact Legal and legitimate.
“The All Progressives Congress, APC-controlled federal authorities ought to indicate better concern concerning the frequent assaults and killing of lots of of Benue individuals by Jihadists who brazenly declared their conquest and occupation agenda on the state. The Buhari administration needs to be bothered that it failed to offer the individuals justice once they demanded it. The Federal Government needs to be involved that multiple yr after Miyetti Allah teams threatened to assault Benue and carried out their threats, nobody has been arrested for interrogation.
“We wish to restate that Benue State Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law has come to stay and no amount of blackmail or intimidation can make the State Government to repeal or suspend the law.”