- Governor Ortom said the federal government must see cattle rearing as a private enterprise to put a stop to the lingering farmers/herders crisis
- Ortom said ranching must be embraced, adding that open cattle routes of the 1950s can no longer work while also blaming FG for not arresting those allegedly behind the crisis
- The Benue state governor urged the ninth National Assembly to pass the National Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Bills
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state has spoken again on the lingering farmers/herdsmen crisis in some parts of the country.
Governor Ortom delivered the first Prof. Miriam Ikejiani-Clark memorial lecture at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu state, titled The State and Management of Farmers/Herdsmen Conflict in Nigeria: Lessons from the Benue Valley.
According to The Nation, Ortom said to address the lingering crisis, cattle rearing must be seen as a private enterprise, adding that the government must see ranching as an alternative to open grazing.
He said: “You have invited me here to share our experiences on the national tragedy of nomadic herdsmen attacks on sedentary crops farmers and other citizens. I consider this a recognition of my apical role in signing into law the Benue State Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law, 2017.
“The federal government should promote cattle rearing as a private enterprise, with private investors encouraged to approach individual family land owners and negotiate for available lands, if any, for such purposes.
“Cattle ranching cannot and should not be ignored. It is our view that the federal government is the most appropriate tier of government to understand and support legislation which promotes ranching in any part of Nigeria.
“A ranching policy will provide avenue for both crop farmers and those involved in animal husbandry to increase production using modern technology. The bold step Benue has taken in enacting a law deserves applause and support, not scorn, knocks and the ongoing blame the victim narrative.”
The Benue state governor blamed the federal government for not arresting and prosecuting certain people for their comments in the face of the attacks on people of the state.
He said: “The arrest and prosecution of leaders of the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore and Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria would have been the beginning of a semblance of justice for thousands of people killed, injured, maimed and displaced."
Ortom urged the ninth National Assembly to pass the National Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Bills, stressing that “any recommendations about open cattle routes of the 1950s will not work because on such routes are now built hospitals, airport, university campuses, etc”.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that Governor Ortom declared that there would be a statewide crackdown on criminals in the state beginning from Monday, May 6.
The governor made the comment at a thanksgiving service at NKST Church Agasha organized in his honour by the Nongov Community Development Association.
He stated that with the end of the one week prayer and fasting programme organized in conjunction with the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) against evil in the state, it was time to match faith with works, stressing that criminal elements would have no hiding place.
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