By ANDREW OJIEZEL
Barely one year after Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose took drastic step against rampaging and wanton destruction of lives, destruction of property and forceful conversion of farmlands into feeding of cows by herdsmen, Benue State today became the second state to enact a law as a way to checkmate continued clash of herdsmen with farmers, by signing into law anti-grazing and kidnapping laws.
Today, Ortom signed the anti-open grazing and anti- kidnapping, abduction, cultism and terrorism bills into law.
Ortom, in a brief speech at the ceremony in Makurdi today, said that the anti-grazing law would put to an end to incessant clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Benue.
The governor lamented the destruction of lives and property in clashes involving farmers and herdsmen over the years, and promised to promote ranching since it had proved to be the best way of rearing livestock globally.
“Now that the bill has been signed into law, the law will take its course on anyone that goes against it.”
He warned that violators would serve a jail term of five years or a fine option of N1 million, or both.
The governor particularly warned farmers and herdsmen against carrying arms, saying that security agents had been directed to arrest and prosecute anyone caught.
Likewise, the governor warned owners of livestock against allowing them to roam the streets, saying that they would pay a heavy fine for each one caught.
“The fines for roaming animals will be heavy; such animal will be auctioned if the owner failed to pay the fine within seven days.”
Ortom said that the law would descend heavily on cattle rustling and destruction of crops by cattle, and warned those concerned against daring the state government.
On the anti-kidnapping, abduction and cultism bill, the governor said that it would rid the state of criminality.
“Kidnappers will, henceforth, be sentenced to death upon conviction, while volunteer hostages will be jailed 10 years.”
It would be recalled that the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose made history in May 2016 when he took bold step to safeguard the lives and property of his people by signing the anti-grazing law.
National Daily observed that the people of Ekiti State have been sleeping with both eyes closed since when the governor signed that law as a result, the herdsmen which have been terrorizing others in the name of taking care of their cows have been kept off that state.