The Benue State Coordinator of Myetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Garus Gololo, has said his members have started leaving the state following the commencement of the anti-grazing law.
The law became effective beginning from November 1, 2017 after its enactment by the State House of Assembly and subsequent accentuation by Governor Samuel Ortom in May, this year.
Gololo said on Wednesday that the insistence of the state government to implement the law without provision of ranches and basic amenities to cater for the herders tartamounts to sending them away.
He denied that any of his members were being manhandled by the Benue people as the law took effect, but expressed worry that their human rights to free movement was being violated as a result of the restriction placed on their animals by the law.
In a similar development, the Cattle Rearers Association at the International Cattle Market in Makurdi has called on the state government to allow their cattle graze around the market area.
Secretary of the association, Garba Mohammed, told newsmen in Makurdi on Wednesday that its members could not take their cattle to graze outside the market as vigilante had been stationed close to the stream where their cows used to drink water.
Mohammed said that the association had over 3000 cattle grazing around the international cattle market and his members had never disagreed with their host community before now as issues were usually amicably resolved.
But, he worried that at the commencement of the implementation of the law, the security outfits spread everywhere had prevented their coŵs from grazing around the market vicinity.
He therefore urged the government to resolve the issue by providing basic amenities such as ranches, water and feeds for their cattle, adding that if nothing is done to assuage their plight, they may have no option than to leave Benue state.
Mohammed said if they leave the state, at least over 1000 Benue youths who benefit from the market through direct labour everyday would become helpless as he stressed further that, "we are for peace and not for war."