Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has said the state will accept the Federal Government’s proposed pilot ranching only if it conforms to the provisions of the Benue State Anti-Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law 2017, according to a report by The Nation.
The report revealed that Ortom made this known while speaking at NKST Central, Mkar, Gboko, while addressing pastors and the congregation at the 2018 Synod, said the idea of having many ranches in a particular area, which translates to cattle colony, was a good one, but Benue has no free land to donate for such venture.
He said he was ready to give his all to put Benue and Nigeria on the global map in modern animal husbandry, but reaffirmed Benue’s position on ranching according to the provisions of its law.
Orotm solicited the prayers and support of the church in addressing the security challenges in the state, saying he and his predecessor were working together for its peace and development.
President of NKST Worldwide Rev. Dominic Anza reiterated the church’s resolution to stand with Ortom to entrench ranching in the state.
He appealed to the governor to look into complaints arising from workers’ verification with a view to addressing genuine ones.
Leaders of the ethnic groups in Benue State, under the aegis of Mdzough-U-Tiv (MUT); Idoma National Forum (INF) and Omi Ny’Igede (ONI), have passed a vote of confidence in Governor Samuel Ortom for his determination to ensure the smooth implementation and enforcement of the state’s open grazing prohibition law.
The leaders also lauded troops of Operation Whirl Stroke and commiserated with bereaved families.
A statement yesterday in Makurdi by the chairman, Chief Edward Ujege, lauded Ortom for his resilience in ensuring that the people’s will prevailed.
The statement reads: “The forum of MUT, INF and ONI is deeply appreciative of Governor Samuel Ortom for consistently staking his neck to entrench modern ways of animal husbandry.
“Ortom’s success in this regard will encourage and guarantee mass participation in agricultural activities, which is the main economic stay of our state, apart from the civil service.
“In the face of persecution and lacklustre response from the centre, which ought to provide us security, our governor has chosen to stand with his people and we also stand with him.
“Therefore, we the forum of MUT, INF and ONI, state unequivocally our support to the governor for his stance on the open-grazing prohibition law. He has chosen to stand with the people at this critical time, sacrificing his life and political comfort to ensure that the wishes of the people prevailed…”
Ortom’s Special Adviser on Local and Chieftaincy Affairs, Titus Zam, has said the governor has given his all to the people.
Zam spoke at Naka, Gwer-West Local Government Area, during the burial of the Director-General, Services and Administration (DGSA) of Katsina-Ala, Sarwuan Gabriel Atanya.
According to him, Ortom’s commitment to the security of his people has proven that he is the leader to be trusted always, as evident in his signing the Anti-Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law.
Zam described the late Atanya as a dedicated father and civil servant, who lived a peaceful, tolerant and persevering life, saying his character and impact on humanity, which endeared him to many, would be remembered for a very long time.
President of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) Terungwa Igbe described the deceased as a humble man, and urged the family to emulate his lifestyle.
Chairman of Katsina- Ala council Mrs. Virginia Kpindi; Chairman, Civil Service Commission Prof. John Ortyoyande, ALGON Chairman and Chairman of Guma council Anthony Shawon, and Chairman, forum of DGSAs Apera, described the deceased as hard working.