Previously, Queendoosh.co shared an excerpt from the interview between the Benue state governor ,Samuel Ortom with a Vanguard Correspondence in Abuja, where he thanked the Nigerian president ,Muhammadu Buhari over his visit and handling of Benue killings by herdmen since the begening of this year stating that the crisis did not start with his administration.
During the interview, Ortom was asked why he was at the villa? He responded saying;
I am here, first of all, to thank Mr President for his condolence visit to Benue State and to also intimate him on where we are now. I also came to remind him about the request of Benue people to him when he paid that visit and to assure him that Benue remains committed to a united Nigeria and to working with him and also to ensure that we will collaborate with the Federal Government to provide security for lives and property. It is equally necessary to intimate Mr President with the plight of over 175,000 IDPs that we have in eight camps who have expressed their desire to go back home. And Mr President is very passionate about their plight and has assured me that government will swing into action to ensure that rehabilitation is done to those homes that were u.
And Mr President is very passionate about their plight and has assured me that government will swing into action to ensure that rehabilitation is done to those homes that were destroyed. Because, if they go back home, where would live when their houses have been destroyed? That assurance has been given and he will also look at the other issues that we brought before him. It is quite assuring that it will be well and, once again, I want to use this medium to thank him for the support he has shown. I know that this crisis did not just start, it precedes his tenure.
The governor added that , when he was serving as minister, his ancestral home was destroyed, 53 people were killed and this was in 2013 when Mr President was not yet here.
But I think what is important is the NEC sub-committee headed by the Vice President is doing the needful and I believe that the meeting we held and the subsequent ones that we are going to hold will proffer a solution to this perennial problem. But we remain committed to our people and our ranching law and I believe that that is the way forward. Like I keep saying, if people have better options, let them bring it to the table. For us in Benue, ranching remains the global best practice and Nigeria cannot be an exception especially when land is decreasing and population is increasing. The 20 million cattle in Nigeria cannot cope with open grazing. There is no doubt about that and a solution has to be worked out just as it is done in India with over 300 million herds of cattle, in Brazil with about 250 million herds of cattle and in America with more than 300 million herds and there have not been clashes like the ones we have in Nigeria with just 20 million cattle.
So, we must adopt global best practices and modern ways of animal husbandry. This will go a long way in helping us. And I think that, in Benue, we are winning because Miyetti Allah and MACABAN have accepted that ranching remains the best option to rear cattle. And we commend them and we will work with them to see how our law can wear human face to ensure that we have a win-win for all. And you will recall that the issue of cattle rustling is a major problem in Nigeria.
Ranching will minimize cattle rustling and attacks on farms and encroachment.
What has changed in Benue since the President’s visit?
Well, there have some killings in flash points by these militia groups but security men are doing their best and some arrests have been made by them. I believe we will overcome at the end of the day. If not for the presence of security men, the situation would have really been worse than what we have today. We are collaborating with security agencies and we are not leaving any stone unturned to ensure that we overcome this crisis.