The Benue State Livestock Guard have arrested Amandu Wakili, a Fulani Herdsman suspected to be responsible for the recent killings in some communities within the state. The suspect who was arrested with other herdsmen stated that they were working for a man named Alhaji Aliyu Tershaku.

While speaking to newsmen on Thursday in Makurdi, the state capital, Mallam Wakili stated that Tershaku told herdsmen including himself to return to the state to perpetrate killings and continue with grazing of cattle in direct defiance of the Benue State Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law.

The herdsman who was nabbed in a community sharing bonder with the prestigious University of Agriculture Makurdi yesterday while grazing his cattle openly disclosed that they were under strict instruction to move to Benue State. but be watchful and also avoid destruction of farm and if need be it should be at a minimal level.

Speaking in Hausa, Wakili said two of his fellow herders who were with him ran away with their cattle while he was arrested and taken to Makurdi by operatives of the Livestock Guards.

The herder disclosed that they came to the state from Awe Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, adding that more of their members were billed to relocate to Benue on the instructions of their leaders.

Also speaking, the State Commandant of Livestock Guards, Mr. Linus Zaki, said they received intelligence reports that herders were grazing openly around University of Agriculture Makurdi communities and swiftly sent his patrol men who arrested Mallam Wakili for contravening the state’s Ranching Law oprating in the state.

He stated that the herdsman was arrested with a cutlass which he tried to used to resist arrest but was eventually overpowered by officers of the Livestock Guards and was subsequently taken to the state headquarters of the Livesstock Guard Agency.

In his statement the Commandant stated that Mallam Wakili would eventually be handed over to the Nigeria Police for further questioning and prosecution in a court of competent jurisdiction.

Below is a partial text of the anti grazing law operating law

“Open Grazing” means the act of pasturing livestock to feed on
dry grass, growing grass, shrubs, herbage, farm crops, etc, in
open fields without any form of restriction;

“Open Rearing” means the unfettered breeding and raising of
animals;
“Personal Ranch” means an enclosed area used by the owner of
such area to contain domesticated animals, especially goats, pigs,
sheep, cattle etc.
“Ranch” means a secured tract of land used as animal nurturing
farm, particularly for the grazing and rearing of cattle, sheep,
goat, pigs or horse and any other animal for the purpose of this
Law;

Ranching Permit” means the authority issued by the
Department to the rancher for the purpose of setting up and
running a ranch;
“Rustling” means the act of stealing or moving away farm animals
without the consent of the owner.
“State” means Benue State of Nigeria;
“Task Force” means security outfit constituted for the purpose of
enforcing the provisions of this Law.

3. The main objectives of this Law are:
(a) to prevent the destruction of crop farms, community
ponds, settlements and property by open rearing and
grazing of livestock;
(b) to prevent clashes between nomadic livestock herders
and crop farmers.

(c) to protect the environment from degradation and
pollution caused by open rearing and over grazing of
livestock.
(d) to optimise the use of land resources in the face of
overstretched land and increasing population

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