Governor Samuel Ortom this morning addressed the Media and Communications Briefing on the National Livestock Transformation Plan which took place at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja. The event was organised by the National Economic Council Sub-Technical Committee on Farmers/Herdsmen Crisis.
Highlights of the Governor’s speech:
1. There is no plan to amend or repeal the Benue State Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law.
2. The law was made by Benue people and only they can decide to amend even one section of the law.
3. Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore are responsible for the violent attacks on Benue and killing of hundreds of innocent people.
4. It is baffling that leaders of the group (Miyetti Allah) have not been arrested.
5. Cattle Breeding is private business, so the suggestion that government should establish ranches for people is not appropriate.
6. States in Nigeria have peculiarities. What suits one state may not be the same in another. (The Governor was reacting to question on whether or not Benue was willing to embrace the proposed National Livestock Transformation Plan).
7. Benue is willing to collaborate with the Federal Government and other stakeholders in ending the crisis to ensure the return of our people to their ancestral homes.
8. As leaders, we ought to avoid making inflammatory statements suggesting that the law banning open grazing in some states is responsible for the killings. In Benue State for instance, the attacks started in 2011 when there was no open grazing prohibition law.