The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has vowed not to surrender the state to politicians who are sponsoring criminals to create a sense of insecurity.
Ortom made the vow in an interview with Journalists in Abuja on Thursday.
He explained that his administration was aware of the activities of desperate politicians who were using cultists and other miscreants to try and divert attention from his administration’s quest to recover stolen public funds.
According to him, the administration is poised to ensure the security of lives and property in the state because it recognises the critical role security plays in attracting investors and by extension development.
He equally announced that he has sent a bill to the State House of Assembly in order to provide a legal frame work for the operation of ranches and to outlaw grazing.
Ortom said, “There are some political undertones to the security issue. People are being instigated to go into kidnapping, armed robbery and cultism and all that; just to create tension. All these things are as a result of our quest to recover stolen funds from past administrators.
“All these things are being instigated to divert attention and create confusion but I want to assure you that there is no way I can surrender the state to criminals, I am going to take them headlong.
“Cattle are raised in America, in Europe in Asia even on African soil. I have been to Swaziland they ranch their cattle, their major export earner is beef but they ranch their cattle. Why should we refuse to do the same thing?”
The governor explained that Benue State does not have land for grazing, adding that Nigeria’s population is now far greater than what it had in the 1950’s when areas were designated for grazing.
Ortom appealed to the federal government to partner with state governments to encourage herdsmen to embrace the modern culture of ranching to prevent incessant clashes with farmers in order not to endanger the nation’s food production.