By Innocent Anaba & John Mkom
…Anti-open grazing law has come to stay in Benue— Ortom
JALINGO—Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State has condemned the strike and protest by the Miyeti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Taraba State chapter, which led to the total closure of the two major abattoirs in Jalingo and other livestock activities across the state.
Miyeti Allah, Monday, protested to the Taraba State House of Assembly, demanding the withdrawal of an ongoing executive bill sponsored by Governor Darius Ishaku, which intends to prohibit open grazing of livestock in the state.
The association, while protesting in Jalingo, also vowed that if the state Assembly refuses to withdraw the bill, there would be total closure of livestock activities for one week across the state.
Governor Ishaku, who spoke through his Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Sylvanus Giwa, said the protest by the Miyeti Allah, which led to the closure of abattoir and activities of livestock in the state, was condemnable and uncalled for.
Meanwhile, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has assured that his administration was determined to ensure the enforcement of the anti-open grazing law.
Speaking with newsmen after the state security council meeting at the Peoples House, Ortom said: “We convened this emergency meeting to discuss, specifically the threat from Miyetti Allah against Benue State Government and its people because of the Anti-Open Grazing Law.
“We challenge anyone with a superior formula that will provide peace for Benue to come out with it.
“We have heard the threat by Miyetti Allah to Benue State and they are even going beyond grazing to talk about struggle for natural resources; that they were here before we came.
“We want to send this message to them that we will not accept that kind of threat.
“We have decided that the Federal Government and the acting President must know about this threat and action should be taken.
“The law does not send the herdsmen away from Benue State. We are saying if you rear cattle in Benue State, you must ranch. We’re not just talking about cattle, we are talking about pigs, goats and other animals.
“This bill gives protection to both herdsmen and farmers.”
On Miyeti strike
On the seven-day strike in Taraba, Vanguard’s check around Jalingo revealed that traders who deal on red meat went to the two major abattoirs in Jalingo and came back home without meat.
It was also gathered that the Iwari Market, where trade in thousands of livestock used to take place on Tuesdays, was shut.
A stakeholder of Miyeti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Alhaji Adamu Adzo, who spoke to Vanguard on behalf of the state Chairman, said the livestock dealers in the state were going to comply with the strike order for one week, beginning from yesterday.
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