The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, has pledged to deploy soldiers to Benue State to assist the Police protect the lives and properties of the people against any resistance to the Open Grazing Prohibition Law by militant herdsmen.
This was revealed, yesterday, by President General of the Mdzough U Tiv, Chief Edward Ujege, while speaking on behalf of the ethic leaders at the end of their second leg advocacy visits across the country.
According to the elder statesman, the leaders had also written heads of the Police, the Department of State Services, DSS, the Navy and Air Force seeking their support for the successful implementation of the law.
Lieutenant General Buratai’s promise came on the heels of the alarm raised by the leadership of the three major ethnic groups in the state— Mdzough U Tiv, ldoma National Forum and Omi Ny’lgede— over alleged threat by Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore to invade the state with herds of cattle in defiance of the newly-enacted grazing law.
According to Ujege, the ethnic leaders had also petitioned the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, over the matter. He said: “In addition, the proactive action taken by our socio-cultural organisations has made Nasarawa State Government to take precautionary measures to hinder the herdsmen/militia from using the state as launching pad to invade Benue State.
“The delegation, through its advocacy, has been able to obtain a pledge from the Chief of Army Staff that troops will be on standby to assist the Police in case of an invasion.
“The responses to our advocacy have been very encouraging with about seven states now contemplating the passage and domestication of similar law in their states.
“We, therefore, commend Governor Samuel Ortom for setting a revolution that will change livestock breeding and animal husbandry in the country.
“We appeal to all Benue indigenes to rally round the governor and give him all the support he requires to make this mission and all his other programs successful.”