Governor-elect of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has promised to establish ranches in order to prevent the incessant bloodshed occasioned by clashes between farmers and herdsmen in the state.
Ortom was of the view that the frequent clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers, which had claimed many lives and led to destruction of property and cash crops across the country, would be averted with the establishment of ranches nationwide.
Benue has been a flash point of deadly clashes between herdsmen and indigenes of the state especially those in the rural areas, who are mostly farmers.
In March, one of such clashes led to the death of 84 persons in the hands of the herders with properties worth millions, destroyed. But the governor-elect, who spoke at the Japan International Cooperation Agency in Abuja on Thursday, explained that his government would find a lasting solution to the bloodshed in the state, stressing that security of lives and properties was a top priority for him.
Ortom, who is a former Minister of State for Trade and Commerce, sought assistance from JICA on education, agriculture and sanitation, noting that Benue could benefit from Japanese technology and expertise in these areas.
According to him, Benue State needs quick surgical intervention in various sectors, adding that a partnership with JICA will assist his administration to make concrete progress in core areas that can impact on the lives of the citizens.
He said, “I have always said it that ranching is the best way to end the incessant farmers/Fulani herdsmen clashes in different parts of the country. In other parts of the world, you don’t see herdsmen walking on the road with cattle and other animals; but this is still being done in Nigeria, sadly.
“So, my government will invest in ranches because security of lives and properties is a core area for us. We will end the clashes and bloodshed caused by herdsmen/farmers conflicts and make Benue a peace haven for all”.