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Published On: Thu, Jun 7th, 2018

Anti-open grazing law: Benue Assembly, Govt call for resignation of Defence Minister

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From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi

Benue State House of Assembly yesterday called for the immediate resignation or sack of the Minister of Defence Mansur Dan- Alii over his comments suggesting that the anti-open grazing law be suspended.
A resolution of the State House of Assembly was read by the Speaker, Terkimbi Ikyange during their sitting.
In a motion moved by the Majority Leader of the Assembly, Benjamin Adanyi, the House, while describing the statement as totally unfortunate and unacceptable, prayed the house to condemn it in its entirety.
“The call by Dan Ali is very wicked and capable of undermining the little peace that we have enjoyed in the recent times in the state. I am aware that the National Assembly has called on him to withdraw that offensive statement. The House aligns itself with the decision of the National Assembly.
Some of the members who contributed to the debate, include Chris Adaji (Ohimini), Bem Mgutyo (Tarka), Johnson Egli Ahubi (Otukpo/Akpa) and Sule
Audu (Agatu). They all expressed worry over the statement credited to the Defense
Minister and asked President Muhammadu Buhari to, as a matter of urgency, reshuffle his cabinet.
In the same vein, Benue State government has asked the defence minister to, as a matter of urgency, withdrew the highly offence statement against Benue State.
The Commissioner of Information Lawrence Onoja Jnr, who made the call while addressing newsmen yesterday in his office, said the state views the minister’s latest statement calling for suspension of the anti-open grazing as serving to embolden the herdsmen militia to further unleash more attacks on Benue, as the various Miyetti Allah groups have used the law to invade Benue and lay claim on the Benue land.
He said by his comment, the minister had abdicated the responsibilities of his office as defender of Nigeria territorial integrity and descended so low to become the defender of Fulani herdsmen’s interest, questioning if Mansur spoke for himself or on behalf of the Federal government.
“We want Nigerians and the international community to compel the minister
to quickly prove to the Benue people that he has no personal scores to settle in the crisis or is playing the script of one unknown people.
“We wish to reiterate that the Nigeria constitution empowers states to make laws for their good governance and the open grazing prohibition and ranches establishment law 2017 was made in this regard,” Onoja submitted.

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