Tension is currently heightened across Benue State, 72 hours before the enforcement of Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law, 2017 popularly known as anti-open grazing law.
Investigation by Sunday Tribune revealed that since the alarm raised by a socio- cultural group in the state of an alleged plot to attack farmers, palpable fear has gripped both farmers and herdsmen in the state.
While some of the farmers told our correspondent in Makurdi that the alarm should not be taken with levity, the herdsmen said they had concluded arrangement to vacate the state.
Calls made to local farmers in Agatu, Logo, Kwande, KatsinaAla, Guma and Buruku local government areas (flash points in the state) revealed unease among the farmers and herdsmen.
Some of the farmers who spoke to our correspondent said that they were not taking the threat with a pinch of salt, stressing that it had become an annual ritual for herdsmen to attack Benue farmers during dry season.
A farmer, Chief Tony Kajo, who spoke to our correspondent from Katsina Ala said, “we all know that the herdsmen have turned Benue to battle zone in their quest to feed their cattle and this has been happening during dry season since 2012.
“Though we are aware of the planned attack on Benue, following the alarm raised by our leaders, in-asmuch as the threat had sent jitters down the spine of some of us, we strongly believe in God to take absolute control using our state governor, Ortom through the new law.”
Also speaking, Inalegwu Audu from Agatu Local Government Area of the state hinted that the people of the community did not take the threat lightly. “Our appeal is that President Buhari should fortify the borders not to allow the infiltration of foreign Fulani herdsmen into the state through Cameroon and Niger Republic,” he said.