The Benue State House of Assembly yesterday declared that neither President Muhammadu Buhari nor the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, has the powers to compel a repeal of the Benue State anti-open grazing law.

The lawmakers also passed a vote of no confidence on the minister and urged him to resign from his position for incompetence and ineptitude.

Dan-Ali, had called for a suspension of the implementation of the anti-grazing law in Benue, Ekiti and other parts of the country.

The minister said that the suspension will reduce tensions in the troubled states.

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Raising a motion of urgent importance on the floor of the Assembly, the Majority Leader, Mr. Benjamin Adanyi, drew the attention of members to publication in several newspapers where the minister was quoted as calling for a suspension of the ranching law in Benue and other states.

He said: “We are worried that this comment is coming from a person whose duty it is to protect and safeguard the lives and property of the people.

“Our grazing law was a piece of legislation that was validly put together after due consultation and inputs from all segments of our society, including herdsmen, and it did not contravene any provisions of our constitution.

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“Hence anyone that has grouse with the law can contest its validity in the courts because the statement could trigger emotional reactions that could snowball into a major crisis. We, therefore, hold that we cannot repeal the law because we stand by it.”

Ruling, the Speaker of the House, Terkimbi Ikyange, upheld the position of members and advised the Defense minister to immediately resign.

 

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