In what appears to be an antagonism to the Federal Government’s solution to the ceaseless killings by heardsmen nationwide, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has insisted that ranching rather than colonies was the sustainable solution to the menace.
The governor, who dissociated himself from the suggestion for ‘cattle colonies’ proposed by the central government, said: “I am waiting to be briefed about what colonies mean. I don’t understand and know what the whole thing means.”
He, however, backed the setting up of a military base to checkmate the activities of marauding herders in the state.
“Anything that can stop the killing of my people I will go for it. Any policy or directive that will help stop the killing of these innocent will be supported.
“We know that the lingering crisis would create more challenges. I don’t want it to continue. We are struggling with economic, political, security as well as other issues in this country. Benue State should not be part of this.”
The governor made his position known while speaking to State House correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He also dismissed the claim by the chairman of the state chapter of Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Garos Gololo that the killings were in retaliation to the alleged rustling of 1,000 cows by some people in the state.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, on Monday, disclosed that everything had been put in place by the Federal Government to establish cattle colonies as parts of efforts to address crisis.