Miyeitti Allah appeals to Gov Ortom over amended anti-open grazing law | NN NEWS

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The Miyeitti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Benue State chapter, has appealed to the state government to treat its members as part of the state.

Speaking at a press conference held in Makurdi, the state capital on Wednesday, the association chairman, Risku Mohammed lamented that his members most of them born in the state were being treated as visitors.

Mohammed who spoke through the association’s scribe, Ibrahim Galma explained that aside from not being invited to the public hearing before the amendment to the anti-open grazing law by the house of assembly added that they found it difficult to acquire land.

According to him, “We are bonafide citizens and indigenes of this state because we vote. We are registered voters, we contribute to the economy of the state. Any administration coming to the state, our contributions had been there. We transact business and promote the dignity of the state and the country entirely.

“For instance, I am above 40 and close to 50 years now; I was born in Benue, my father who died at the age of 70 was also born here including my grandfather. I have no other place to go. Our business is livestock rearing. To this end. We don’t have any other place and they are not ready to give us land.

“The livestock that we have is not a crime; it’s not a weapon but is food that we have and also disperse to others. The whole state benefits from our livestock so I’m appealing in that order that the N50,000 fine per cattle impounded as amended is not affordable to us.

“We have no other source of livelihood; our cattle are dying. The governor should not punish our race; I mean our ethnicity because our cattle which is part of our livelihood is diminishing. We are human beings and we have nowhere to go. We contribute to the positive development of the state and we are appealing that the state government should consider us.

“Because the amended law it’s like they are telling us to leave the state. If we do, where are we going because we were born and brought up in the state? We don’t have any other place and they are not ready to give us land, there was no publicity and no sensitisation before the amendment law was signed.”

Muhammed said that all efforts to see the speaker or any other government officials failed.

It will be recalled that the state governor, Samuel Ortom recently signed the amendment anti-open grazing law which stipulates stiffer penalties for offenders of the law.

Part of the amendment is the increase in fines placed on confiscated animals from N2,000 to N50,000. (Nigerian Tribune)

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