Insecurity: Benue lawmakers Express worries over FG’s plan to reopen grazing routes, task NASS on reversal
Nigerian Concord Newspaper
Benue State Lawmakers have condemned the decision of the Presidency to reopen grazing routes and called on members of the National Assembly from the State to liaise with their colleagues from other States to ensure a possible reversal of the Federal Government’s plan to reopen grazing routes in twenty five States in the country including Benue.
The appeal was made at plenary following a motion of urgent public importance sponsored by the majority Leader of the State Assembly, Rt Hon. Damian Cheme.
The call by Hon. Damian Cheme followed President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent directive to Attorney General of the Federation to reopen the grazing routes across the country.
According to the Gwer- West representative, such a move was not in the interest of the State and urged his colleagues and other well meaning citizens irrespective of party affiliations to support the state government to oppose the policy.
Mr Cheme argued that ,reopening of grazing routes in the state was against the land use Act and the Open grazing prohibition law as practised in Benue and other states of the federation.
The Deputy speaker, Rt Hon. Christopher Adaji and representative of Guma state constituency, Hon. William Ortyom, expressed worry that the directive if allowed, would birth constant clash between herders and farmers thereby increasing the level of insecurity in the country.
Hon.Ortyom stressed that the decision of the presidency is not backed by law, hence it contravenes the land use act which has vested powers to State Governors to manage lands in their respective states.
The lawmakers who condemned the call for a state of emergency, called on the federal government to help Benue State in implementing the Open grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment law which is the international best practice of animals husbandry.
Ruling, the speaker, Rt Hon. Titus Uba, said since the passage of the open grazing prohibition law,the state has enjoyed relative peace and sued for support of stakeholders for effective implementation.