No fewer than 2000 women across the 23 local councils of Benue State yesterday stormed the Government House in Makurdi to demonstrate their solidarity for the implementation of the anti -open grazing law in the state.The protesting women, old and young, many of whom looking half-naked, had matched through the streets of Makurdi, the state capital, chanting solidarity songs to express their happiness and support for the stance of Governor Samuel Ortom on the newly implemented anti-open grazing law.Carrying placards, which read: “Respect anti-open grazing law; Samuel Ortom, ahead! ahead!,” “We support anti- open grazing law among others. The women thronged to the seat of power amid tight security.
Ortom, who received the women alongside his wife, Eunice and other top government officials, lauded the women for their understanding on the implementation of the law; stressing that the law was a “win win for everyone.”He reiterated that there was no more vacant land in Benue said the population of Benue had increased from about one million in the 50s to about eight million presently adding that farming and ranching cannot coexist on the same land.According to the governor, “We love everyone resident in Benue, including the Fulanis but we cannot continue to live with killers, who have no respect for human lives. This law is to the benefit everybody, as it would encourage economic activities as well as encourage the Fulani to stay in one place and ranch their cows among other benefits.”He added that those who want to stay in Benue would be given enabling environment to carry out their businesses lawfully but those who don’t want the law can quietly exit the state without rancour, even as security would be provided to them to do so.He, however, urged Benue people, especially the youths, to be law-abiding and not take laws into their hands by attacking either Fulani or their cattle, stressing that any infringement should be reported to the appropriate authority.The governor’s wife. Mrs. Eunice Ortom thanked the women for keeping faith with her husband’s administration, stressing that the security of the state was paramount.Spokespersons of the Tiv, Idoma and Igede areas of the state, expressed happiness with the new law, maintaining that they could now go to their farms without any fear of molestation.Credit: Guardian Newspaper