Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
The Muslim community in Benue State has urged the Federal Government be steadfast in its support for ranching of livestock especially cattle as earlier endorsed by the National Economic Council (NEC).
The Islamic body made the call Tuesday at the Government House Makurdi when it paid homage on Governor Samuel Ortom on the occasion of the Eid-el-Fitri celebration.
Leader of the delegation and Chairman, Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), who also represents the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Sa’ad Abubakar in Benue, Alhaji Garba Baba, maintained that ranching of livestock was the only solution to farmers and herders crisis.
Baba also enjoined friends of Benue State at home and in the Diaspora to assist in canvassing support for the smooth implementation of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law 2017 of the state.
“May we call at this juncture, once more on friends of Benue at home and in the Diaspora to assist in canvassing support for the smooth implementation of the anti-open grazing law 2017. The law is meant to promote harmony and safeguard the wealth of both the herder and the farmer,” he stated.
“Therefore, we Muslim Ummah wish to further call on the Federal Government to remain steadfast to the earlier decision taken by the National Economic Council that ranching of livestock is the only solution to farmer/herder crisis.”
While acknowledging the deplorable condition of the Internally Displaced Persons, (IDPs) in the state, the JNI leader called on Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to make good his promises during his recent visit to IDP camps in the state especially by ensuring that peace returns to the affected Benue communities to ensure they return to their homes as soon as possible.
Baba who also called on the international community, humanitarian agencies as well as public spirited individuals and organizations to come to the aid of the IDPs lauded Governor Ortom’s deliberate policies of ensuring unity and peaceful coexistence among the various religious groups in the state and the feeding of Muslims in the month of Ramadan, even as he prayed Allah to reward the Governor.
Responding, Governor Ortom, who was represented by Secretary to the State Government, Professor Anthony Ijohor, (SAN) appreciated the JNI delegation for their open support for ranching and efforts at ensuring peaceful coexistence among the various religions in the state.
He congratulated the Muslim community for successfully completing their Ramadan fast, stressing that it was a thing of joy that no religious crisis had been witnessed in the state even as he sued for sustained peace which he said was one of the main virtues of Islam.