From Rose Ejembi Makurdi
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has reiterated his call on the Federal Government to institute a probe into contracts awarded for the establishment of Ruga settlements in parts of the country.
The Governor made the call while declaring open, the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting and General Assembly of the Christian Association of Nigeria CAN, taking place in Makurdi, the state capital on Thursday.
Ortom who noted that contracts were already awarded for the Ruga project even though majority of Nigerians rejected it, maintained that it was pertinent for Nigerians to know what became of the funds.
He recalled that Benue was the first to reject the concept of Ruga because it was deceptive and against the interest of people of the state who are predominantly farmers.
“It is necessary that funds earlier earmarked for Ruga projects be recovered and utilized for the National Livestock Transformation Plan, (NLTP).”
Governor Ortom who alluded to threats and inciting statements credited to some Fulani socio cultural associations, observed that their intention was not about cattle grazing but to take over the land.
The Governor reiterated his administration’s commitment to continue with enforcement of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law, 2017 insisting that anyone who wants to do livestock business in Benue must be ready to obey the laws of the land.
Governor Ortom enjoined the church not to relent in prayers but remain united in order to overcome challenges.
On his part, National President Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), His Emminence, Reverend Samson Ayokunle said the church is united in support of the Governor’s stand against militia herders’ attacks.
Ayokunle commended the Government and people of Benue State for the warm reception accorded delegates to the CAN NEC meeting and General Assembly.
Also speaking, the Tor Tiv, HRM Professor James Ayatse called on Christians to complement faith with works to achieve desired goals.