Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has said that incessant deadly clashes between herders and farmers would continue to fester across Nigeria unless the Federal and State Governments adopt the Benue State’s Open Grazing Prohibition/Ranching Law 2017 model.
He also said that injustice, lack of good leadership and the culture of impunity have conspired to create the present state of insecurity ravaging the country.
Ortom spoke at the 2021 Press Week/Lecture with the theme: “Insecurity in Nigeria: Restoring Peace, Unity and Progress” organised by Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), FCT Correspondents Chapel held on Thursday at NUJ House, Utako.
The Governor, who was the Guest Speaker on the occasion, also painted a gloomy picture of the activities of unscrupulous elements in more than 24 states in Nigeria especially in Benue state where he alleged that his people have suffered too much killings.
According to him: “Our people have suffered genocide as many Benue citizens have been killed in their ancestral homes. Over 180, 000 of our people are registered in IDPs while over 500, 000 others are scattered across the country because of incessant clashes between herders and farmers”.
Ortom insisted that it was in the attempt to arrest the security situation that Benue State House of Assembly enacted the ‘Open Grazing Prohibition/ Ranching Law 2017’ which he later signed to reduce the conflicts.
The Governor however, alleged that although he formally informed the President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo of the ‘Open Grazing Prohibition/Ranching Law 2017’, which among others, protects the environment and reduces the herders and farmers conflicts, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association and other quasi- organisations have declared war on the people of Benue State and made attempts to harm him.
He therefore accused the federal government of lack of political will to confront the monsters, adding “the absence of Rule of Law and Due Process have helped to fuel insecurity in the country”.
Ortom also said: “I, Samuel Ortom want peace anchored on Peace, Unity and Progress”, adding that; “except Ranching Policy is adopted in Nigeria quickly every state will be affected by insecurity”.