By Matthew Ajai-Kume
Benue State House of Assembly has condemned the Federal Government directives on the reopening of grazing routes, reserves and a call for the declaration of state of emergency in Benue State.
The House made the condemnation Tuesday during plenary after a motion moved by the Majority Leader of the House and Member representing Gwer-West Constituency, Mr Damian Cheme, calling on members of the National Assembly from Benue State to intervene in the reopening of grazing routes by the Attorney-General of the Federation, as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The House in its resolution on a motion moved by Mr Cheme which was seconded by the Majority Whip and Member representing Ukum State Constituency, Mr Thomas Mtomga condemned the directives by the Federal Government for the reopening of grazing routes in 25 states, Benue state inclusive, while they called on members of the National Assembly from Benue State to lobby their colleagues from other states of the federation to intervene in the directive by the President to the Attorney General of the Federation to rescind the decision of reopening grazing routes.
“The House of Assembly calls on all well meaning citizens of Benue State, irrespective of political party affiliations to join hands with His Excellency, Samuel Ortom to oppose reopening of grazing routes in Benue state as it is against the Land Use Act and Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law 2017,” the resolution stated.
The resolution further stated that, “the House of Assembly condemns the call for a state of emergency in Benue state by some persons who do not have interest of Benue state at heart and calls on the Federal Government to help the state implement Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law 2017.”
Commenting separately on the matter, Mr William Ortyom, representing Guma State Constituency, Deputy Speaker of the Assembly and Member representing Ohimini State Constituency, Mr Christopher Adaji and Mr Suur Abanyi said the Land Use Act CAP.202 Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1990 vests all land comprised in the territory of each state solely on the Governor of the state who shall hold such land in trust for the people of the state.
The House in plenary received a letter from Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom for 2021 Supplementary Budget Proposal of N21,073,137,683.
Speaker, Mr Titus Uba read the letter and referred it to the Business, Rule and Law Committee for quick action.
The House also received petitions from Mr James Ahembe against Chief Andrew Yina and Chief Hemen Atomigba who are traditional rulers from Shitile clan of Katsina Ala Local Government Area on criminal acts as well as a petition from 35 students of Government Secondary School, Torkula against their Principal, Mr James Orhena for emmblezement of National Examination Council (NECO) and West African Examination Council (WAEC) fees. The petitions were read on the floor of the House by Misters Jonathan Agbide and William Ortyom respectively, while the Speaker on behalf of the House referred the petitions to be handled by the Public Petition Committee.
The Chairman, House Standing Committee on Education, Science and Technology, Mr Terkaa Ucha presented the report of the committee on a Bill for the Law to Repeal and Re-Enact, the College of Education, Katsina Ala Law, CAP 37 Laws of Benue State, 2004 and purposes connected thereafter 2020, A Bill for a Law to Repeal and Re-Enact, the College of Education, Oju Law, CAP 38 Laws of Benue State, 2004 and for purposes connected thereafter 2020, as well as a Bill for a Law to Repeal and Re-Enact, the Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo Law, CAP 60 Laws of Benue State 2004 and for purposes connected thereafter 2020.
Meanwhile, the speaker received the the report on behalf of the House and referred it to the the Laws and Rules Committee for it to be presented for second reading.