The Muslim community in Benue State has called on the Federal Government to deepen its support for ranching of livestock especially cattle as earlier endorsed by the National Economic Council.
The Islamic body made the call today at the Benue Peoples House Makurdi on the occasion of the Eidiel Fitir Sallah Homage on Governor Samuel Ortom.
Leader of the delegation and state Chairman, Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI, who also represents the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Sa’ad Abubakar in Benue, Alhaji Garba Baba, described ranching of livestock as the only solution to farmers and herders crisis.
He also called on friends of Benue State at home and in the Diaspora to assist in canvassing support for the smooth implementation of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law 2017 of the state.
“May we call at this juncture, once more on friends of Benue at home and in the Diaspora to assist in canvassing support for the smooth implementation of the anti-open grazing law 2017. The law is meant to promote harmony and safeguard the wealth of both the herder and the farmer,” he stated.
Garba continued: “Therefore, we Muslim Ummah wish to further call on the Federal Government to remain steadfast to the earlier decision taken by the National Economic Council that ranching of livestock is the only solution to farmer/herder crisis.”
Alhaji Garba while acknowledging the deplorable condition of the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs in the state, called on Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, to make good his promises during his recent visit to IDP camps in the state especially by ensuring that peace returns to the affected Benue communities for them to return to their homes.
He also called on the international community, humanitarian agencies as well as public spirited individuals and organizations to come to the aid of the IDPs while praying for restoration of peace in the state.
He lauded Governor Ortom’s deliberate policies of ensuring unity and peaceful coexistence among the various religious groups in the state and the feeding of Muslims in the month of Ramadan, even as he prayed Allah to reward the Governor.
Responding, Governor Ortom, represented by Secretary to the State Government, Professor Anthony Ijohor, SAN, appreciated the JNI delegation for their open support for ranching and efforts at ensuring peaceful coexistence among the various religions in the state.
While congratulating the Muslim community for successfully completing their Ramadan fasting, Governor Ortom said it was a thing of joy that no religious crisis had been witnessed in the state and sued for sustained peace which he said was one of the main virtues of Islam.