The Plateau State, Governor Simon Lalong, says he warned his Benue State counterpart, Samuel Ortom over the promulgation of the anti-open grazing law.
Governor Lalong who was in the State House to see President Muhammadu Buhari, says his recipe for tackling the herdsmen/farmers clashes is ranching and not anti-grazing laws.
“I told the Governor of Benue (Mr Samuel Ortom). When he was doing the law, I told him why don’t you do (ranches), be careful, take the other steps before you start implementation. States are different, he said his own concept is different, he said”
“I cannot just wake like some people said to me up last year, that I should go and do anti-grazing law. And I said, ‘look, anti-grazing law for what?’ We are talking of ranching, we are talking of livestock development of livestock business.
“I cannot use the word ‘Act’ to drive people who are interested. It is for people who are interested to come and involve themselves in it. I can’t implement, there are levels of implementation. One requires Federal Government’s intervention, provision of ranches.
“When you are talking about ranching, it is a product of the agricultural business, you also require subsidy. Subsidy must come from Federal Government, the subsidy must also come from the state. And by the time we develop it, we put every sector on the ground, then we can bring laws to regulate the implementation.”
He said his state donated parcels on land for ranching and believes government must make an investment in the venture.
“We have lands, we have donated voluntarily, communities donated their land ready for ranching. But again, I said that in ranching, the concept of ranching, nobody studied ranching like me last year.”
This comes after the state government held a mass burial for the Benue residents who were killed in a clash between farmers and herdsmen on New Year’s day.
With the day being labeled as a ‘Black Thursday’ for the people of Benue state, many have cried out to the government to ensure that justice is served for the deceased.