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Ortom: Benue won’t receive fleeing armed herders from South-West

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, yesterday said the state was not ready to receive fleeing armed herdsmen from the South-West part of the country as proclaimed by the Northerner Elders Forum (NEF).

 

The governor was responding to NEF’s position that he and some of his colleagues had “signaled their preparedness to receive herdsmen relocating to the North.” NEF had, in a statement by its Director, Publicity and Advocacy, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, called on northern governors to prepare to receive law-abiding Fulani herders who may be compelled to relocate to the north as a result of the growing tension in the south.

 

But Governor Ortom in a swift reply through a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Terver Akase, said he had no such intension. He said: “Benue State will not receive armed herdsmen fleeing from the South-West.” The governor reiterated that “any cattle owner who wants to reside in Benue State must ranch his animals.”

 

He emphasised that open grazing remained prohibited in the state and no force can persuade him to compromise on the law, which was promulgated to serve as a panacea to check incessant killing of innocent people in the state.

 

He noted that the state had no problem with anyone who engaged in legitimate business and adhered to the laws of the state. The state enacted the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law in 2017, which had since taken off successfully.

 

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