The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom has said his state will reject the planned review of the Land Use Act by the Federal Government with vehemence as it is meant to grab land for open grazing, cattle routes and grazing reserves.
Ortom spoke on Monday while reacting to allegations of planned review of the Land Use Act of 1978 to give ownership of land to the Federal Government and to push for takeover of waterways and River Banks by the Federal Government.
The Governor stated that the attempt to review the Land Use Act by the presidency would not be acceptable by Benue State as it was another attempt to grab land from the people for open grazing, pointing out that continued insistence on open grazing and cattle routes connotes a hidden agenda.
He also noted that Livestock Guards cannot be held responsible for any strayed cattle in the course of trying to impound livestock that contravene the ranching law of the state.
The Governor noted that as herders come armed, attack and sometimes kill Livestock Guards and security agents in the course of discharging their responsibilities, force has to be applied to impound the cattle which could result to stray ones.
He stated that if herdsmen had obeyed the ranching law of the state and complied with its provisions, nothing of such would have happened in the first place let alone the blame game.
Governor Ortom described the allegation as cheap blackmail, stressing that it was ridiculous for the presidency to continue to look for a solution to farmers and herders crisis when ranching is there and had proven to be a global best solution.
The Governor, who received the Assistant Commandant General, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, in charge of Zone H, Harilu Usman, acknowledged the support of Agro Rangers to peace and security in the state.
ACG Haliru Usman, while pledging his commitment to peace and security in Benue and other states under his jurisdiction, said the declaration of Thursdays and Fridays as public holidays for civil servants was a demonstration that Benue is truly the Food Basket of the Nation.