Plateau state governor, Simon Lalong has indicated he is open to cattle colonies, while his Benue State counterpart remains convince that cattle ranches is the best alternative for a lasting peace.
Governor Lalong stated his position while speaking with State House Correspondents on Thursday, after a close-door meeting with President Buhari.
Lalong stated that his administration has no intent of enacting the anti-grazing law, but instead were convinced that Cattle Colonies, proposed by Audu Ogbeh led Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, is the best way to stop Fulani herdsmen farmers killing. The governor also chided Ortom for hastily signing the Anti-open Grazing bill without any adequate provision for herdsmen.
“When the governor of Benue was doing the law, I told him: ‘Just be careful, take other steps before you start implementation.’ “But he said that states are different, that his own concept is different and for us in Plateau, it is different…I have not seen rangers; I have not yet developed the ranching areas. So, I cannot go and say I put up a law to stop who?’’ Lalong asked.
However, Governor Ortom, remained convinced cattle ranching was the best way to stop herdsmen encroaching on farmers land.
“For us, the way forward is ranching and up till this time, I am talking to you, the way forward is ranching because it is the global best practice…It is not just the practice in other parts of the world; it is also the practice in African countries like Swaziland, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique, among others; they all engage in cattle ranching.” Governor Ortom.
He also added that despite the recent killing of farmers in his state, credits goes to the anti-grazing law for the relative peace the state had enjoyed before the recent killing.