From: Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State disclosed, on Monday, that the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore (MAKH) has taken the state government to court in protest against the planned implementation of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment law recently enacted as a panacea to herders/farmers clashes.
The Daily Sun gathered that the suit was instituted against the state at the Federal High Court in Abuja with suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/527/2017 by Incorporated trustees of MAKH Social Cultural group, Alh. Abdullahi Bodejo and Engr. Saleh Alhassan through their counsel, Aliyu Ahmed and Associates.
Joined in the suit were the National Assembly, Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Inspector General of Police (IGP), Benue State House of Assembly, Benue State Government, Attorney General of Benue State and the Benue State Commissioner of Police.
Governor Ortom, in a chat with newsmen at the Government House, in Makurdi, said as a law-abiding citizen, he was not disturbed by the decision of MAKH to frustrate his peace efforts through legal means, positing that the state was ready to meet the group in court.
The Governor who said he was awaiting the verdict of the court as to whether it was unlawful for him to initiate a bill for the law and send to the State House of Assembly or not, stressed that he believed in the rule of law and would never resort to violence in addressing security challenges.
He said the enactment of the law was part of his constitutional responsibility to protect lives and property including those of herdsmen, saying the bill sought the establishment of ranches not just for cattle, but for all livestock including pigs, goats and sheep.
Recall that Governor Ortom had, on May 31, this year, signed the Anti-Open Grazing law that was passed by the state’s House of Assembly, a development which MAKH had vowed to resist. (The Sun)