Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State on Wednesday said that he had received messages from Fulani threatening him over the anti -open grazing law recently enacted by his administration.
Ortom stated this when he addressed members of National Council of Tiv Youths who protested to government house over what they described as ‘ outburst and unguided utterances against Tiv nation and the Indigenes of Benue state by leaders of Fulani cattle rearers ’.
The governor said that he would not be intimidated by the threat coming from the Fulani, stating emphatically that the law has come to stay and that the full implementation of the law would commence latest November 2017.
Governor Ortom had a few weeks ago assented to anti -open grazing bill passed by the state assembly which prohibits open grazing of cattle and livestock.
The law had among others provided that anyone who engages in open grazing in Benue State and on conviction will now be liable to five years imprisonment and provided for monetary compensation in case of any damage to a property and imprisonment of two years of the livestock owner or manager in case of injury to any person in the state.
The governor said that the enactment of the law was necessitated following the constant attacks on farmers in the state by suspected Fulani herdsmen, adding that he has the constitutional responsibility to protect lives and property of residents of his state.
According to him , ‘just this morning ( Wednesday) one Fulani called my wife and asked her to warn me that I ( Ortom ) am joking with them (Fulani) , but my response when my wife told me this , is that am not joking , this law has come to stay .”
“ I challenge anyone who has superior solution to the senseless killings of our people other than anti -open grazing law should bring it forward , before the passage of the bill by House of Assembly.
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