As part of effort to sign into law of the anti- open grazing issues ,Makurdi the Benue State capital yesterday went agog as thousand of people and different communities residing within the state capital joined the smart- land one million Benue peaceful walk to support the implementation of the law.
The groups who were carrying placards with various inscriptions: both igbo community in Benue supports the implementation of the law, Yoruba community in Benue are solidly behind the implementation of the law, our land is for farming not grazing, Benue Valley our inheritance etc, said it attention have been drawn to the alleged security threat by the leadership of Miyetti Allah which they said is wearing the face of terrorism against the people of Benue State.
Leader of the group Gbakhir Sevendaga, say ,“going by the 1999 constitution as amended, section 41(1) guarantees the right to freedom of movement to all Nigerians, not animals and if the herdsmen are not willing to abide by the law, the federal government should make Sambisa forest available to them for grazing’’
“Our mission is to affirm the continual dominion rights of Benue people by defending our unity and protecting our ancestral lands, the criminality of cattle breeders can best be interpreted as a deceptive ploy to enhance Fulani imperialism, to now conquer in war and other means, areas that had not been conquered by the Fulani Jihads of the early 19th century.”
“As a group we are solidly behind the implementation of the law, we cannot fold our arms in error to lose our inheritance to cattle breeders we need to protect and preserve our land for the future generation.
Responding, the Benue State governor Samuel Ortom, who was represented by his deputy ,Benson Abounu, reaffirmed the position of the government in implementing the law today; saying enough is enough of the killings and destruction in the state.
“I must tell you that there is no going back for the implementation of this law because the six months grace period was enough for everyone involved to sensitized his or her people”
In an chat with the president of Igbo community in the state, comrade Iwu Everest, who described the signing of the law and its implementation as the best thing that has happened to the state, pledged the community support to the implementation of the law.
It was also gathered that, the Bobagunwa of Yoruba in Benue, Chief Kayode Odunuga also commended the state House of Assembly and Governor Ortom for signing the law which when implemented, will put a stop to the wanton killings and destruction of farms lands and property .
The group who were chanting solidarity songs marched from wurukum roundabout through High Level to the State Assembly were received by the Speaker Terkimbi Ikyange , terminated their walk at Government House Makurdi.