Governor of Benue State, Mr Samuel Ortom, has backtracked on his earlier stance on ranching saying land is available for herders who intend to go into livestock ranching in the state.
The governor made this statement in Abuja at the 72nd birthday of Iyorwuese Hagher, former Nigerian ambassador to Mexico.
The governor who was represented by Dennis Ityavyar, commissioner for education, also said the people of Benue are not against the Fulani people, adding that the anti-open grazing law in the state “is a very progressive idea”.
The Benue state government have maintained a difficult stance on the issue of ranching due to the continuous attack on the people of Benue
“The Tiv people are historically the friends of the Fulanis and I like to submit that friendship still exists,” DAILY TRUST quoted him as saying.
“And so, I warn those people, who are either using politics or those who are criminals and trying to sell what’s wrong to people.
“His Excellency, Governor Samuel Ortom has explained again and again that we, the Benue people, are not against the Fulani.
“Those who have a lot of cattle are still using ranching, and any Fulani person who wants to establish a ranching in Benue will have the land. Even if our ‘Chairman’ wants to start a ranch, he will get the land today.
”We will give you land and start the ranching today, so that people will see it as a model and wherever we go, we want to correct the impression because if you read history, you will see that we have always been friends with Fulani.”