The Benue state government has released 210 cows seized from herdsmen at Mbala, Makurdi, and Gbajimba in Guma Local Government Area of the state.
The cows were arrested by the state’s livestock guards when they were found wandering on the streets, an act that is in violation of the state’s 2017 Open grazing law.
The commander of the Benue State Livestock Guards, Linus Zaki, said the cows were returned to the owners after various fines worth N5million in total, were paid. He warned the herdsmen to desist from violating the open grazing prohibition law of 2017 and seek approval for the establishment of ranches.
“We arrested 140 cows in Mbala on February 11, 2021, and 70 cows in Gbajimba on February 16, 2021. Altogether, we are handing over 210 cows to their owners today. We cannot stop implementing the law so the herdsmen must learn to follow the right procedure,” Zaki said.
The release of the cows followed the payment of N2,000 each for the 210 cows with 140 of the animals held for 14 days while 70 of them were held for eight days, amounting to over N5million revenue into the state coffers.
Speaking on behalf of the owners of the cattle, the secretary, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Ibrahim Galma appealed for leniency saying the process of establishing ranches is too technical and scientific for an average Fulani Normad.