Herdsmen numbering more than 100 have been convicted in Benue for flouting the state’s Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law.
Governor of the state, Samuel Ortom who revealed this to newsmen in Markurdi, said that the herdsmen have been prosecuted and convicted according to the provisions of the law.
Disclosing this, Ortom said: “We have arrested over 400 herdsmen flouting the law in the state and over 100 of them have been convicted. Some have paid fines, some have also been jailed depending on the magnitude of the offence they commit according to the law.”
The Governor also divulged that the rest of the suspects who have not been convicted were still being investigated, stating that some were released on bail.
The Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law according to Ortom, was put in place to protect the people of Benue from miscreants who pose as herdsmen but harbor criminal intentions.
“Some are being investigated, some are on bail and so on. We will continue to arrest them. There is no safe place for any herdsman who comes here to do open grazing and for those criminal elements, it’s just a matter of time and we will get them.”
The Benue state government through the law seeks to curb the persistent conflicts between herdsmen and farmers in the state, by putting a complete halt to nomadic herding while also encouraging ranching.