Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has declared that the State would not be part of the grazing reserves rehabilitation programme of the Federal Government.
Ortom said his state has no land for grazing routes, grazing reserves, cattle colonies and Ruga settlements.
The governor was reacting to the statement by Garba Shehu, Buhari’s spokesman who had said the Federal Government would as from next month commence rehabilitation work on grazing reserves in the country.
In a statement by his spokesman, Terver Akase, the governor warned that such initiative would have negative effect on the unity of Nigeria.
According to Ortom: “While we may not stop the Federal Government’s plan to rehabilitate grazing reserves or create cattle routes in other states, we wish to make it clear that no land in Benue State has been gazetted for grazing routes, grazing reserves, cattle colonies and Ruga settlements. Benue is therefore not part of the grazing reserves rehabilitation programme of the Federal Government.
“We expect the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to weigh the negative consequences its recommendation will have on the unity and security of the nation and advise Mr President that Nigerians are not on the same page with him regarding the matter of open grazing. It is not too late to salvage the situation.
“We are concerned about the plight of millions of farmers who have been displaced as a result of herders’ attacks and are now in IDP camps; a development which is already adversely affecting food production. Benue State has over one million displaced people who are mostly farmers, and the task of returning them to their ancestral homes is what should bother the Ministry of Agriculture and other agencies of the Federal Government.”