Human Rights

Governor Ortom hails Presidency for addressing security challenges

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his support for displaced persons in the State.

He made the remark while speaking to Journalists at the Presidential Villa, soon after he met with President Buhari behind closed doors.

The Governor, who said he was in the state House to brief President Buhari on the situation in the state, said the federal government has shown a lot of concern for displaced persons in the state.

I’m here to first of all to thank the President for the condolence visitor to Benue State after the killings and to also intimate him on where we are now and the plight of over 175,000 Internally Displaced Persons IDPs that we have in eight camps.

They have expressed their desire to go back home. And the 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 displaced.

Because, if they go back home, where would they go and live when their houses were 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 I want to thank the President for the support he has shown. I know that this crisis did not just start during his tenure, it precedes this government.

When I was serving as Minister, my ancestral home was destroyed, 53 people were killed and this was in 2013 when the President was not yet here. But I think that what is important is the National Economic Council’s sub-committee headed by the Vice President which is doing the needful.

I believe that the meeting we held and the subsequent ones that we are going to hold will definitely proffer a solution to this perennial problem and we sought it out ones and for all. But we remain committed to our people and our ranching law and I believe that that is the way forward, he said.

The Governor noted that Benue State remains committed to a united Nigeria and would always support President Buhari in moving the country forward.

He said: I’m also here to remind him about the request of Bernie people when he paid that visit and to assure him that Benue remains committed for united Nigeria and to work with him in ensuring that we collaborate with the Federal Government to provide security for lives and property in Nigeria.

He stressed his earlier call for ranching instead of open grazing, saying it remains the best global practice.

Like I keep saying, if people have better options, let them bring such to the table. For us in Benue State, that remains the global best practice and Nigeria cannot be an exception, especially when the land is decreasing and the 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 created just as it is done in India with over 300 million herds of cattle, in Brazil 250 million herds of cattle and in America 300 million but yet, there has not been clashes like we have witnessed 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 for us in Benue, we are wining because even the Miyetti Allah group has accepted that truly, ranching remains the best option.

And we commend them and we will work with them to see how our law will 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 to the cattle rearers in Nigeria. Ranching will minimize this problem; it will minimize attacks on farms and encroachment on farms. So, we encourage everyone to work with us to ensure that we achieve this, the Governor stressed.

Source: Voice of Nigeria