Benue State Govt. Enacts Law To Prohibit Open Grazing, Other Activities

Benue State Govt. Enacts Law To Prohibit Open Grazing, Other Activities
Benue State Govt. Enacts Law To Prohibit Open Grazing, Other Activities

Governor Hyacinth Alia of Benue State has enacted an executive order targeting several practices in an effort to implement more rigorous governance. The order prohibits activities such as open grazing of cattle, public defecation and urination, loitering, and driving against traffic, amongst others.

Governor Alia cites the constitutional duty of the state to ensure the safety and well-being of its residents, referencing both the 1999 constitution and the Public Order Act, to support the order which took effect from February 28, 2024.

Key elements of the order include prohibition of late-night loitering, gender-segregated public lavatories, and the careless dumping of refuse. Excavating roads, farming on urban roadside lands or government reserved areas, and obstruction of waterways with building structures are also offences listed under the order.

The order further introduces restrictions on public assemblies and sales by the roadside, mandating permits from the Department of Public Order for gatherings extending past 10:00 PM.

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The Governor’s mandate stipulates that businesses must close by midnight unless they obtain a permit for extended operation, prioritizing health workers, security forces, and other essential services. Additionally, minors are not to engage in hawking past 6:00 PM or during school hours.

Emphasizing public morals, the order forbids strip clubs, public prostitution, underage employment in bars, indecent attire, and minors residing in hotels without parental guidance. It reaffirms respect for elders and authorities and condemns the spread of misinformation via social media.

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In conclusion, under the new directive, any individual seeking exemptions must appeal to the Department of Public Order, with penalties for non-compliance ranging from summary trials to fines between N20,000 to N500,000, based on the nature of the offence and the behavior of the offender.

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