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Attacks will not make us repeal anti-grazing law in Benue – Ortom

Governor of Benue state, Samuel Ortom has stated that attacks on residents will not force his administration to repeal the anti-grazing law in the state.

Samuel Ortom on May 22, 2017 had signed the anti-grazing law that prohibits the movement of livestock on foot within the state — following a series of clashes between herders and farmers.

The state has witnessed a series of attacks in recent times.

Recall that at least 20 people on June 6 were reportedly killed after an attack by gunmen in Odugbeho community in Agatu LGA of the state.

This attack is coming days after more than 30 people were reportedly killed — including students of the College of Education — in Katsina Ala LGA of the state.

Speaking on the development on Saturday during a media parley to celebrate his second year in office, the Benue governor said his administration has started recruitment to activate the Community Volunteer Guards Law enacted in 2000.

He noted that the recent attacks in the state has triggered him to activate the vigilante groups, while clamouring that the groups should be allowed to carry arms.

“A few weeks ago, Benue stakeholders met and gave this administration the mandate to activate and implement the Community Volunteer Guards Law enacted in 2000,” he said.

“We have already commenced the process of recruiting responsible people of 50 years and below into the Volunteer Guards.

“Their duty is to support the conventional security agencies in defending their communities. We have cried enough. We will cry no more. Now is time for action.

“Let me remind those who think that sustained attacks on the Benue people will force us to repeal the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law that they are making a mistake.

“This law has come to stay and no amount of intimidation can make us repeal it. Instead, we will soon amend the law in order to increase the penalties against offenders.”

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