Military Vows To Clampdown on Violators of Benue Grazing Law

Cattle herders with ak47
Cattle herders with ak47google

The military has pledged to clamp down on herders who violate Benue State's Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranch Establishment Law.
Major General Sunday Igbinomwanhia, the Force Commander of the military spike operation dubbed Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS), gave the warning during a Benue State Security Council media conference in Makurdi on Wednesday.

Gen. Igbinomwanhia declared that the operation was necessary after the two-week ultimatum issued to armed and unarmed herders operating in the state expired 3 days ago.

He declared that the Governor and members of the Security Council gave that leverage to herders who are grazing openly and those illegally bearing arms to withdraw from the state. According to him, a seven-man committee was established by the Council to determine how the kinetic aspect would be implemented if they failed to withdraw.

However, While the committee was sitting, reports were received from the people that massive compliance had been recorded regarding the withdrawal of the herders. Even so, the state government decided to hold the briefing to notify people that the grace period for the non-kinetic approach has expired.

While this ultimatum was on, OPWS also conducted clearance operations in Kwande Local Government Area which was invaded that by some criminal elements causing mayhem. OPWS has however brought normalcy to the LGA. 

“For those who refuse to abide by the ultimatum and are still grazing openly, they must know that the 14 days are over. Anyone who refuses to abide by the law, whatever meets him or her, they called for it'' Gen. Igbinomwanhia said.

Dr Sam Ode, the state's deputy governor, reported earlier that the committee established to review the disengagement of armed herdsmen had completed its report.

The committee noted that some herdsmen have peacefully withdrawn over the last two weeks after the security agencies carried out some peaceful operations to ensure their withdrawal.

He warned that the full weight of the law would be brought to bear heavily on anyone who goes against the law, no matter status or origin, and emphasized that the law was not directed towards anyone in particular.

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