<<< By Tahav Agerzua >>>
A bill that will make it compulsory for cattle owners in Benue State to rear them in ranches will soon be forwarded to the State Assembly.
Governor Samuel Ortom made the disclosure yesterday during visits to those displaced by current herdsmen attacks in Logo, Buruku and Tarka local government areas.
He stated that the law would make it illegal for herdsmen to roam with cattle and graze outside ranches.
Governor Ortom reiterated his position that ranching remained the permanent solution to the incessant clashes between farmers and herders and called for collaborative efforts between states and the federal government for their establishment.
He sympathized with those who lost loved ones and property during the attacks as well as the displaced and promised that the state Security Council would take decisions that would ensure the return of those displaced to their homes.
According to him the 20 pickup vans which the state government in collaboration with the local councils recently procured would be given to security agencies to facilitate surveillance and security of the affected areas.
Members of the state executive and security councils as well as the Speaker of the State Assembly, Terkimbi Ikyange, accompanied Governor Ortom on the visits during which relief materials were also taken to those displaced.
Speakers at the various places including state and national assembly members, caretaker chairmen, traditional rulers and community leaders lamented the rampant killings, destruction of residential houses, schools, hospitals and churches as well as farms and food stores saying the mission of the invaders was to drive away the inhabitants and take over their lands.
The speakers said about 10 council wards in Logo, Buruku and Tarka local governments have been completely deserted as a result of the activities of the attackers who kill people on a daily basis warning that if the people do not return to their homes to farm famine was imminent in the affected places.
They requested for the deployment of the army to ward off the herdsmen and ensure the return of those displaced saying the attackers have overwhelmed the police and the other security agencies on ground.