Participants at the just-concluded public hearings on the anti grazing bill have expressed support for a law banning open grazing in Benue.
The participants also endorsed the provision that open grazing be replaced with ranches, but declared that such ranches should be established by individuals, and not by the state government as proposed in the executive bill.
They also rejected the provisions of the draft bill suggesting that the state government should establish a Livestock Development Agency.
Three public hearings, organised by the Benue House of Assembly, were held simultaneously in the three senatorial districts, to gauge the feeling of the people on the bill.
The hearings, held at Oturkpo, Gboko and Katsina-Ala, were concluded on Friday.
The bill was submitted to the House by Governor Samuel Ortom, as part of efforts to curb the persistent clashes between farmers and herdsmen.
The participants unanimously agreed that a law banning open grazing by herdsmen was key to tackling the clashes, and called for its quick passage.
Rev. Moses Iorapuu, who represented the Bishop of Makurdi Diocese,Wilfred Anagbe, opined that the ban on opening grazing was long overdue, adding that land owners should be consulted before any ranch was established.
Mr Terngu Tsegba, a former member of the House of Representative, said that ranches should be created and managed by individuals, just like farmlands.