Military Vows to Crackdown on Violators of Benue Grazing Law

The military has vowed to crackdown on herdsmen violating the Benue State Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranch Establishment Law.

The Force Commander of the military spike operation, codenamed Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS), Major General Sunday Igbinomwanhia, said this while briefing newsmen on Wednesday in Makurdi about the State Security Council meeting.

According to him, the action became necessary after the expiration of the two-week ultimatum issued to armed and unarmed herdsmen operating in the state, which expired two days ago.

“The Governor and members of the Security Council gave that leverage to herders who are grazing openly and those of them illegally bearing arms to withdraw from the state.

“A seven-man committee was set up by the Council and was mandated to find out modalities for the implementation of the kinetic aspect if they fail to withdraw,’’ he said.

Speaking earlier, the Deputy Governor, Sam Ode, stated that the committee established to review the disengagement and withdrawal of armed herdsmen from the state, headed by Gen. Igbinomwanhia, had submitted its report.

He said the committee noted that over the last two weeks, there has been a peaceful withdrawal of some herdsmen, particularly after the security agencies carried out some peaceful operations to ensure their withdrawal.

He explained that the law was not targeting anyone, stressing, “But if you contravene the law, no matter who you are, your status, or where you come from, the full weight of the law will be brought to bear heavily on you.”

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