Nigeria’s House of Representatives on Thursday called on Federal Government to ensure effective enforcement of anti-open grazing prohibition, ranching law in Benue State, as part of efforts geared toward restoring peace to the state.
The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption adoption of a motion of matter of urgent national importance sponsored by Hassan Saleh (APC-Benue), which was unanimously adopted by other lawmakers.
In his lead debate, Saleh who expressed the gruesome killing of about 26 persons by suspected herdsmen in a bloody attack carried out against Omusu village, at Edumoga in Okpokwu Local Government area of Benue State, on Monday, 5th March, 2018, stressed the need for proactive measures to avert similar occurrence.
“When the heavily armed herdsmen stormed the village, some of them started burning down houses while others were shooting sporadically and also butchered many of the villagers.
“The House is worried that despite the presence of the Police and other security agencies in the state, the spate of killing of defenseless and innocent citizens of Benue State has not abated.
“The House is concerned that despite the widespread condemnation of the killings going on in Benue state, many of the perpetuators of this heinous crimes have not been arrested and prosecuted by the Nigeria Police. This has led to the continuation of the killings in the State.
“The House is concerned that the herdsmen and their socio-cultural organization known as Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association have vowed to continue killing the citizens of Benue State until the State’s anti-open grazing prohibition and ranching law is reversed.
“The House observes that the Benue State anti-open grazing prohibition and ranching law is not targeted at any particular set of people or ethnic group but is meant to protect the lives of the generality of the citizens of the State including the herdsmen.
“The House is convinced that Benue State as a unit of the Federation is empowered by the 1999 Constitution to enact laws that would promote peace, unity and prosperity among the citizens of the State and every dwelling in the State is under obligation to obey such laws.
“The House is further convinced that there is a need for the Federal Government to reiterate the cal on the Inspector General of Police and other security agencies to take all necessary measures to enforce the Benue anti-open grazing prohibition and ranching law, in order to ensure that peace is fully restored to the State,” he noted.
To this end, the House tasked Idris Abubakarz Inspector General of Police and all security agencies in Benue State to arrest the perpetuators of this gruesome killings going on in Benue state and ensure they are prosecuted in court without delay.
To this end, the House mandated the Committee on Legislative Compliance to investigate the refusal of the Nigerian Police and other security agencies to enforce the Benue anti-open grazing prohibition and ranching law and report back within six weeks.
KEHINDE AKINTOLA, Abuja