The Benue State House of Assembly has amended its anti-open grazing law and adopted stricter penalties.
The Benue State Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law had first come into effect in 2017.
Under the amendment, offenders will now spend up to 14 years in prison or pay fines of up to N5million for anyone engaging the use of children in rearing cattle openly in any part of the state.
While first-time offenders moving livestock by foot in the state will have to pay a N500,000 fine, a second time offender would be liable to N1million fine with appropriate prison term.
Benue has been the victim of uncountable herdsmen attacks in recent times.
While its governor is not in good terms with Aso Rock, the state government has tried to use its anti-grazing laws to put a leash on things.
Governor Ortom has accused Abuja of turning a bling eye to the carnage herdsmen have been wreaking in the state, while adopting a sympathetic stance to the herdmen’s cause.
Abuja, on the other hand has accused Ortom of incompetence.
At one point, Ortom had accused President Buhari of withholding military support from the state after intelligence reports revealed that terrorist attacks were imminent.
When eventually the attacks happened, he blamed the president even more.
Whole communities have been sent packing in several parts of the state and replaced by herdsmen and this has continued to be a source of concern.