Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Immediate past Special Assistant to the Benue state government on Herdsmen, Alhaji Shehu Tambaya has urged the federal government to drop the idea of establishing Ruga settlements in Benue warning that establishing such settlement in the state at this time could spark crisis.
Tambaya who stated this in a chat with Daily Sun in a reaction to the proposed Ruga settlement in the state noted that federal government should rather engage in building the trust between herdsmen and farmers in order for the herdsmen to respect the anti open grazing law of the state.
He urged the federal government to support the state government on the law so as to build the trust between the herders and farmers and not to aggravate an already bad situation by establishing Ruga settlement in the state.
Tambaya who noted that the Benue situation is different from the situation in other states maintained that the federal government must first address the issues surrounding the farmer herders clashes in Benue state.
Tambaya who explained further that establishing such settlements at this point in time was not the best stated that up until now, thousands of those who were displaced by the herdsmen attacks were still in IDP camps and are afraid to return back home.
He further stressed the need for the federal government to also look into the issue of security with a view to ensuring that the displaced persons return to their ancestral home.
“There is the need for the confidence of the people to be built and assurances given that there wouldn’t be any trouble between herdsmen and farmers before such settlement can be established in the state. For now, that confidence us not there.
“The federal government should give Benue state enough time and also consider the fact that there is an anti grazing law in place in the state. We are not saying herdsmen cannot come and do business in Benue but the right channel needs to be followed and that is that they must ranch their cows.”
Tambaya maintained that there is a law guiding farmers and herders in the state adding that anyone who wishes to do cow business in the state is free to approach the state government for necessary action.