THE amalgam socio-cultural group in Benue state which comprises ‘Mdzough U Tiv, Idoma National Forum and Omi’Ngede have rejected the plan by the federal government to establish cattle ranch in the state.
The National Economic Council, NEC had on Tuesday announced the establishment of pilot cattle ranches in 10 states of the country including Benue.
The proposed project which has a 10-year plan is estimated to gulp N179 billion and N70 billion is to be sourced by the Federal Government to commence the project.
But in a swift reaction yesterday (Thursday) the amalgam group kicked against the plan stating that federal government was only trying to grab their land through back door for the herdsmen.
The spokesman for the group, chief Edward Ujege at a press briefing commended Federal Government to have accepted ranching as the global best method of animal’s husbandry, which the state had championed.
But the group said that on behalf of the people of the state rejects the establishment of cattle ranch as well as the idea by the federal government to use public funds to construct ranches for a private business of cattle rearing.
The group said that globally, cattle rearing is a private business just like crop farming and advised the government to jettison the idea of funding the establishment of cattle ranch.
The group explained that already a law on Open Grazing prohibition and Ranches Establishment enacted by Benue State government and was explicit on provisions for those interested in the business of rearing cattle to come forward, acquire land and build ranches.
Ujege said based on the provision of the law, the herders will also have to abide by the terms and conditions of the land acquisition and the host communities will also have a sense of belonging.
“As we reaffirm our support and stance for this law and all its provisions, we view the attempt by the Federal Government to build ranches for herders in our state as a grand plan to grab our land and give it to herdsmen in the name of ranches.
“The forum of Mdzough U Tiv (MUT), Idoma National Forum and Omi Ny’Igede reject the Federal Government’s continued push to actualize grazing routes and cattle colonies which Nigerians have vehemently rejected.”
The group, however, called on Federal Government to arrest and prosecute the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore for their complicity in the Benue killings, stating that failure to do so these people of the state will continue to treat both the Federal Government and leadership of Miyeitti Alla killers of people of the state.
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