Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom wants other state Governments to back up the ban on open grazing with legislations to enhance national security, cohesion and sustainable development.
He made the call at the twenty twenty one law week organised by the Makurdi Branch of Nigeria Bar Association with the theme, Open Grazing in Nigeria: threat to National and Food security.
Governor Samuel Ortom who declared the law week opened at the Benue Hotels, Makurdi stressed that allowing open grazing to continue in the country could have negative impact on the socio economic life of Nigerians and fuel ethnic tensions.
The Governor called on the Federal Government to implement the policy on ranching as captured in the National Livestock Transformation Plan which was adopted by the National Economic Council to protect farming communities and cattle rustling.
Mr. Ortom also appealed to the Federal Government to proscribe all militant herdsmen groups as was done in the case of the Independent People of Biafra given that the Global Terrorism Index ranks them as the fourth deadliest terrorist groups in the world.
In a keynote address, Governor of Rivers State, Mr. Nyesom Wike represented by a senior lawyer, Mr. RC Ndefor described open grazing as a threat to the peace and unity of the country and sued for strict implementation of the ban on open grazing.
Earlier, Chairman Nigerian Bar Association, Makurdi Branch, Mr. Justine Gbagir said the association supported the enactment of the open grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment law because of its belief that it was the only solution to farmer herder clashes.
Highlights of the event was the launching of the Makurdi NBA journal titled “Celebration of Excellence: Essays in Honour of Justice Aloysius Iorgyer Katsina Alu, CJN retired”.