The Middle Belt Movement for Justice and Peace, MBMJP, has begged the federal government to apologize to Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state for blasting him over his decision on the adoption of ranching as panacea for the herdsmen crisis in Nigeria.
According to MBMJP, FG has to say sorry after the recent stance of the government to convert grazing reserves in Nigeria to ranches for herders.
MBMJP convener, Comrade Joe Bukka disclosed this in a statement yesterday in Makurdi. He said it would not be fair for FG to not apologize to the Governor after he was severely lambasted for leading the calls for ranching in Nigeria.
His words, “Few days ago the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Nomadic Education said the federal government is remodeling the grazing reserves to ranches to transform the livestock industry.
“It is a welcome development that the federal government has suddenly made a detour to embrace ranching after they almost ‘hung’ Governor Ortom for championing the call for ranching in the country.
“As Nigerians with conscience we demand that the federal government apologize to Governor Ortom who was severally vilified and even threatened for leading the dogged campaign to have ranching entrenched in the country.
“All he did was to have the country adopt the global best practice in animal husbandry and end the killings of farmers and sacking of our communities but some self seeking people and forces in Abuja who failed to realize that his advocacy was for the good of the country led the battle against him.
“But today he has been vindicated by the decision of the federal government to resort to ranching as being practiced in civilized countries which is obviously the solution to the ceaseless killings in our communities by the armed invaders.
“We must however caution that this new policy must be implemented in such a manner that the governments and people of the selected states give their consent and are also carried along to avoid any form of strife in those states.
“We are sounding this warning so that the policy does not fail because if the intent is to forcefully take land from the original owners without their consent, the policy will fail from the begin. So government must do everything to avoid that pitfall by getting the consent of the people before implementation.
“We also hope that this will be the genuine beginning of the introduction of ranching in the country in order to permanently end the incessant cases of conflicts and killing occasioned by open and wild grazing of cattle in the country.”
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