By Terver Akase
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom today made another compelling presentation for the country to embrace the establishment of ranches as solution for herdsmen crisis in parts of the country.
Governor Ortom spoke on behalf of other Nigerian Governors during the opening of the 2017 National Security Summit taking place at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
He said the global practice in livestock rearing is ranching, stressing that Nigeria borrowed democracy from other countries such as the United States of America, therefore the same approach should be applied to the issue of ranching.
Governor Ortom gave assurance that state governments would collaborate with the federal and local governments in the efforts to combat insecurity and ensure peace.
He also clarified the concerns raised in some quarters regarding the bill recently passed by the Benue State House of Assembly on open grazing prohibition and ranches establishment, saying that the bill does not indicate that herdsmen would be sent out of the state.
The Governor said the legislation only seeks to stop open grazing of cattle and to promote ranching since the land is no longer enough for open cattle grazing and farming as the population of the country has increased but the land has remained the same or even decreased with the excision of Bakasi from Nigeria to Cameroun.
“The bill does not seek to chase herdsmen out of Benue but only to restrict them from destroying farmlands and to encourage those who want to rear cattle to practise ranching” Governor Ortom stated.
He reaffirmed the resolve of the Benue State Government to encourage herdsmen willing to embrace ranching to do so as that method of cattle rearing has proven in many countries to be the most reliable and peace-oriented pattern of livestock breeding.
The theme of the Summit is ‘Forging Partnerships for Effective Strategies to Curb the Menace of Kidnapping, Recurring Farmers – Herders Clashes and Criminality in Nigeria.’
The event is organized by the Nigeria Police Force in collaboration with Leadership Newspapers Group Ltd and National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria.
The Tor Tiv, His Royal Majesty, Professor James Ortese Ayatse is among traditional rulers across the country who are attending the summit.