Benue Open Grazing Ban Having ‘Havoc Effect’ On Cross River – Ayade

Benue Open Grazing Ban Affecting Cross River, Ayade Laments
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Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade says the enforcement of the Open Grazing Law in neighbouring Benue State is causing havoc in his state.

The governor made the claims on Monday in Calabar, the state capital after suspected herdsmen from Benue invaded a community in Cross River, killing one and injuring others.

Addressing a press conference after a closed-door meeting with heads of security agencies in the state, Ayade condemned the invasion and called on the Federal Government to intervene in the matter to prevent reprisals.

READ ALSOOne Reported Dead As Herdsmen Invade Community In Cross River

“Currently, the situation is where farmers feel a deep sense of loss with the continuous grazing on their economic crops while the herdsmen are also desperately looking for pasture to sustain their cattle, it’s a complex situation,” he said.

“But obviously, this passage of the Anti-Open Grazing Law fully in Benue State and its implementation is taking a havoc effect on Cross River State.”

The governor also lamented that the state government is under pressure from the affected community to ensure that the herdsmen are relocated elsewhere for the sake of peace.

He said, “Today, as I speak, Cross River State government is under very intense pressure from her citizens to also do same by passing the same law.”

“The Federal Government must have the moral courage to address this issue because if we pass a stiff law against open grazing, and another state does, and another state does, then we are wiping out that trade and we are wiping out the means of livelihood of a people.

“But if on the other hand we also do nothing, and they continue to wipe out the crops of people, then they will wipe out the crops of a people and a people; this is not what the Federal Government should leave in the hands of a people,” he added.

Herdsmen Protest Against Anti-Grazing Bill At Taraba Assembly

The herdsmen started their protest on Monday, June 12

No fewer than 2,000 herdsmen and their affiliates stormed the Taraba State House of Assembly in protest against the proposed anti-open grazing bill in the state.

The protesters converged on Jalingo, the Taraba state capital, and embarked on a procession through major streets before arriving at the State House of Assembly.

Bearing placards with different inscriptions and chanting solidarity songs in Hausa, they expressed their rejection of the proposed bill.

Security operatives were at the entrance of the Assembly to avert a breakdown of law and order and to prevent the protesters from advancing beyond their bounds.

Despite their presence, the protesters were relentless in their bid to make their grievances heard and pushed against some of the security personnel.

It took the intervention of the leaders of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria to bring the situation under control.

The Chairman of the Association in the state, Alhaji Sahabi Mahmud, told the Speaker of the Assembly, Mr Abel Peter, and some principal officers who came out to listen to the protesters that the proposed bill is unconstitutional and aimed at depriving them of their livelihood.

Responding to their request, the Speaker said there is the need for the state government to encourage ranching in Taraba State.

The Speaker later told journalists that the laws of the state is not for any particular group and urged people to take time and study the bill.

According to the Speaker, the right place for the protesters to table their complaint is at the public hearing and not the House.

The Prohibition of Open Grazing Bill and the Establishment of Ranches in Taraba State 2017 is an executive bill which has passed second reading and is due for public hearing.

The Speaker explained that the bill is aimed at preventing clashes between herdsmen which would be beneficial to the state.

He allayed the fears of the protesters that the bill is aimed at depriving herders of their livelihood, saying instead it is meant to improve the lives of livestock and herders.

 

According to the speaker, when passed and signed into law, the bill will checkmate the activities of criminals hiding under the guise of grazing to perpetrate all forms of crime.

He explained that the bill will not stop herdsmen from coming into the state but it will require herdsmen in the state to obtain permits.

Ekiti and Benue are the only two states in the country that have so far passed anti-open grazing bills and signed them into law.

Herdsmen: No Free Land For Grazing In Edo, Says Obaseki

Herdsmen: No Free Land For Grazing In Edo, Says ObasekiEdo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, says the state cannot be compelled to provide land for free as grazing reserve for herdsmen.

Governor Obaseki stated this during a courtesy visit on Tuesday by the State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) at the Government House in Benin City, the state capital.

He said cattle rearing is like other economic activities, adding that those who want to engage in the business must be ready to operate it just the way other private businesses are done in the state.

“As far as I’m concerned, grazing is an economic activity if they (the herdsmen) go to the local governments who feel they have the land, they have the water etc.

“In fact, anybody who wants to come and graze and pay, let them come so that they will do so,” the governor said.

He also described the debate over allocating lands as grazing sites for herdsmen in Edo State as a nonissue which should not bother the people.

Ekiti Government And Herdsmen Sign Peace Agreement

Ekiti Government And Herdsmen Sign Peace AgreementThe Ekiti state government has signed a peace agreement with the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria on the anti-grazing law.

The State Governor, Mr Ayo Fayose said there is no going back on the law as he insisted that government’s responsibility is to ensure the safety of the lives and property of Ekiti citizens.

The south-west chairman of the association, Alhaji Kabir Mohammed promised that the herdsmen will do everything to ensure peace prevails in the state.

The operations of the Grazing Enforcement Marshall, established to enforce the Ekiti State Government’s Anti-Grazing Act was suspended on Tuesday after issues were raised by the herders’ association, claiming that some of the animals were killed by the officials.

Governor Ayodele Fayose said they would stay suspended for few days to enable the state address issues raised.

“They have demanded that I should allow them three days for them to move some of these cattle to permanent areas where they will be grazing. So, I have suspended the activities of the marshals for the next five days,” he saidd.

Governor Fayose expressed happiness that the leaders of the of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeder’s Association, decided to contact the state government instead of listening to rumours being peddled around by the opposition.

He, however, debunked the claims that cattle were killed by the marshals.

“The marshals are not armed. There is total misinformation about killing of cows, shooting of cows. It is pure political and misinformation,” he said.

The Ekiti State Government’s Anti-Grazing Act prohibits herders from indiscriminate movement within the State with their animals at specified time.

Suspected Herdsmen Kill Six In Another Kaduna Attack

herdsmen, kaduna killings, Godogodo villageGunmen suspected to be herdsmen have again attacked Godogodo village in Jema’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State, killing at least six persons.

The latest attack comes barely two weeks after unidentified gunmen killed 11 people and burnt down houses in three villages within the same local government.

An eyewitness said the gunmen stormed the village and told the villagers that their land has been earmarked for grazing and ordered them to vacate the area.

The farmers resisting their order, the gunmen opened fire on them and killed six people on the spot.

The Kaduna State Police Public Relations Officer, Aliyu Usman, who confirmed the incident, said that some people have been arrested in connection with the attack.

He added that more policemen have been deployed to the area to maintain law and order.

However, the Chairman of Kaduna State Chapter of Miyetti Allah, Haruna Usman, described the killing as an act of vengeance.

He said that the suspected herdsmen might have stormed the village to revenge the death of one of their leaders who was killed in one of the villages sometime ago.

Herdsmen Attacks: Benue State To Prohibit Open Grazing

herdsmen, herdsmen attacks, Benue State, GrazingThe Benue State Government has forwarded a bill to the State House of Assembly to outlaw and ban open grazing of cattle in the state in order to curb clashes between herdsmen and farmers.

Governor Samuel Ortom disclosed this to the people of Sankera in the Benue North East senatorial district at the ongoing state-wide town hall meetings to engage the people in participatory democracy.

Mr Ortom spoke to journalist shortly after the town hall meeting and explained that the move became necessary following the incessant herdsmen attacks and recent killing of over 10 persons in Logo and Ukum Local Government last week Saturday.

Mr Ortom, while responding to the demand for protection, disclosed that an executive bill prohibiting open grazing has been sent to the state assembly.

Governor Ortom also met with the Jemgbagh clan of old Gboko province, the Igede people of Oju and Obi council areas, where he held the former administration responsible for looting and plunging the state into indebtedness.

The Sankera people are known for large scale farming of rice and yam. They came together in Katsina-Ala to demand action from the federal and state government over the killing of their people.

Nigeria To Establish Grazing Reserves To End Clashes

grazing_reservesDisturbed by the ugly clashes between cattle grazers and farmers in various parts of the country, Nigerian  government on Monday approved the constitution of a committee to work out modalities for establishing grazing reserves across the country.

Consequently, a meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC) made up of governors of the 36 states of the federation and some ministers has been set for Thursday, this week to give teeth to the proposed policy aimed at finding a lasting solution to the clashes that had led to the death of over 50 persons since the beginning of 2014.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, who disclosed this at the Presidential Villa, after a  meeting chaired byVice President Namadi Sambo,  cited recent communal clashes between Fulani cattle grazers and farmers in Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau States and other parts of the country, noting that government has resolved to address the issue head-on.

He disclosed that the grazing reserve would also help to check the smuggling of arms and ammunition across the Nigerian borders by foreigners who come into the country disguised as cattle grazers

Dr Adesina announced that the government had put in place short term measure including the creation of new functional grazing reserves, deployment of satellite imagery, remote sensing and GPS maps to track movement of animals across the country.