The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom has insisted that the ban on open grazing in the state stands despite the recent spate of attacks on farmers and communities by Fulani herdsmen.
Ortom, who spoke on Saturday Saturday during a media parley to celebrate his second year in office, said his administration has started recruitment to activate the Community Volunteer Guards Law enacted in 2000.
According to Ortom, the recent attacks led to the activation of the vigilante groups to protect the people of the state.
He also demanded that the vigilante groups be allowed to carry guns to be able to discharge their duties effectively.
He said, “A few weeks ago, Benue stakeholders met and gave this administration the mandate to activate and implement the Community Volunteer Guards Law enacted in 2000,” he said.
“We have already commenced the process of recruiting responsible people of 50 years and below into the Volunteer Guards.
“Their duty is to support the conventional security agencies in defending their communities. We have cried enough. We will cry no more. Now is time for action.
“Let me remind those who think that sustained attacks on the Benue people will force us to repeal the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law that they are making a mistake.
“This law has come to stay and no amount of intimidation can make us repeal it. Instead, we will soon amend the law in order to increase the penalties against offenders.”