The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has called for the establishment of ranches for Fulani herdsmen and their cattle to reduce the incidence of clashes between them and farmers across the country.
Ortom, while receiving members of the House of Representatives Committee on Security and Intelligence at the Benue People’s House, on Thursday, suggested that such ranches should be established with the collaborated efforts of the three tiers of government and provision of security, social amenities, nomadic schools and markets within the designated areas.
The governor said, “Federal Government, state and local governments must come together to ranch our cattle. In 21st Century America, in Britain and other developed countries, no cattle is seen on the roads.”
According to him, if cattle are kept in one place and feed is provided, there would be no problem.
“I have a ranch; we can help the rearers but not through grazing routes or reserves. Ranching can be done in any part of Nigeria”, he added.
The governor urged the National Assembly to legislate what would be good for Nigerians, especially farmers, and stressed that herdsmen should live peacefully in Nigeria. He added that government should initiate policies that would support the provision of security for lives and properties.
“The lasting solution and the way forward is not grazing routes nor reserves; these will not solve the problem. We don’t have 20 hectares of land to donate as grazing reserve and routes.
“There is no land for grazing reserves in Benue. We want to diversify our economy; our people are heeding to the advice to go back to farm,” the governor further said.
Earlier, the Chairman of the House Committee on Security and Intelligence, Aminu Jaji, told the governor that the National Assembly was worried about tensions in Agatu and other parts of the state and that members of the committee would visit affected areas.
Jaji said the committee was committed to the enhancement of security of lives and property across the country, adding that farmers/herdsmen clashes had become a national problem that deserved to be given the utmost attention.
Meanwhile, the National Chairman, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Mr. Kiruwa Zuru, has declared support for the Federal Government’s efforts to find a permanent solution to the recurrent clashes between farmers and herdsmen, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
Zuru, speaking with journalists in Birnin Kebbi, on Saturday, described the recent presidential directive for security agencies to deal with perpetrators of violence in some parts of the country as a laudable, positive development.
While condemning the use of weapons by Fulani herdsmen, Zuru said, “The association has resolved to support any move that would bring a permanent solution to the violence between communities and herdsmen.”
There is No land for grazing in Benue State – Gov Ortom
Reviewed by Link Naija