Following the killings of almost 80 persons in Guma and Logo local governments of Benue State. The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom has gotten the knocks from the governors of his two neighboring states – Plateau State’s Simon Lalong and Nasarawa’s Tanko Al-makura.
Why it matters:
The two Middle Belt governors are blaming Ortom’s open grazing prohibition and ranch establishment law as the cause of the problem.
Plateau state governor, Lalong, claimed that he advised his Benue counterpart against the “anti-grazing law” but he would not listen.
Nasarawa state governor had also pushed back against the claims by Ortom that the murderous Fulani Herdsmen were camped in his state from where they carry out their attacks.
The both states are no strangers to the activities of the murderous herdsmen. Nasarawa was attacked during the week with about 25 people killed.
Plateau has witnessed some level of peace lately – at least in 2018 and this is something their Governor is taking the credit for.
“As it is, it is the implementation of the anti-grazing law in Benue that caused the problem and now Nasarawa State is being infected by the problem. Notwithstanding that, we are being our brothers’ keepers and good neighbours.
“I had to cut short my vacation and come to find ways of helping my colleague. We have called all our security agencies to meet to find ways and means of helping Benue.”
Governor Lalong said:
“I told the Governor of Benue when he was doing the law; I said look, why don’t you tread softly, just be careful, take other steps before you start implementation. But you see, states are different. His own concepts are different and for us on the Plateau is different. I said I will not do the law before implementation. I have not developed the ranching areas so I cannot go and say I put a law, to stop who? If I stop the people what is the alternative.
“So I said do consultations, allow the people to understand and buy into the concepts.
“Secondly, I can’t implement anti-grazing law. There are levels of implementation which will require government intervention, provision of ranchers.
“Ranching as a concept is a policy and there are states realizing the importance of the policy. I cannot wake up like some people said last year that I should go and do anti-grazing Law. And I asked anti-grazing law for what? We are talking about ranching, we are talking about development of livestock business and I cannot use the word anti to start driving people who are interested. It is for those who are interested to come and get involved in it.”