The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has given conditions to which the state government can accept the National Livestock Transformation Plan.
The governor said the state government will reject the Plan if it does not conform to the state’s Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law.
In 2017, the state enacted the law to curb killings and destruction of farms by herdsmen.
According to Sunday Punch, Ortom’s Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, in an interview on Saturday, said the state government would adopt the FG’s policy provided it conformed to the law.
He said the state had made some progress as a result of the law and would not allow anybody to drag it back to the era when there was no law guiding animal husbandry.
The FG had planned to introduce Ruga settlements for herdsmen but the criticisms that greeted the project forced the government to suspend it.
But the National Economic Council adopted the NLTP as the best method for raising livestock.
Governor Ortom’s spokesperson said, “We can only be part of that plan if it agrees with our existing law in Benue State. We will adopt the National Livestock Transformation Plan to the extent that it conforms to the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law. The governor is a member of the National Economic Council and it was NEC that adopted ranching as the best method of animal husbandry.
“That was why the governor and Benue people, to a large extent, approved ranching as the way forward. Ruga was smuggled in later but we thank God that the Office of the Vice President, which controls the National Livestock Transformation Plan, came out to distance itself from Ruga which was a later day illegality
“We have said repeatedly that Benue will be part of the National Livestock Transformation Plan only if it agrees with the state Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law. This law has been in operations for two years now and a lot of progress has been made. We will not allow anybody to take us back to the dark ages when there was no legislation on animal husbandry.”