Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
Chairman of the National Economic Council Technical sub-Committee on ending herders/farmers crisis, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, on Monday, urged the warring communities in Taraba State to eschew violence and live in peace with one another.
Governor Umahi said this, in Jalingo, at a stakeholders meeting on the way out of the lingering herders/ farmers crisis in the state.
The Ebonyi governor, who debunked the rumour that the Federal Government had directed states to give lands for cattle colonies, noted that life was sacred and under no circumstances should people kill one another.
He explained that the Land Use Act gave state governors power over lands in their states and that the Federal Government would not forcefully take land from states for whatever reason.
According to him, 13 states had so far indicated interest to donate land for cattle colonies in the country, insisting that the Federal Government only had powers over the land in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
In the words of Governor Umahi, “We are out to identify problems peculiar to states affected by the herders/farmers crisis with a view to providing lasting solutions to the crisis.
“We had useful interactions with stakeholders in Benue and Nasarawa states and I hope we will have similar useful discussions here that would take us out of this problem,” he said.
On his part, Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State said at the occasion that the people of the state held the team in high esteem with expectations that far reaching recommendations would be reached to bring the crisis in the state to an end.
According to Governor Ishaku, “The killings in Taraba and other parts of the country are most unfortunate, as the issue of grazing should ordinarily not bring crisis in the country. I implore the committee to take a deeper look into the issues with a view to finding lasting solutions.
Governor Ishaku insisted that he was not aware of any gazetted grazing reserve and I have not been presented with any document concerning grazing reserves in the state since my assumption of office.
“I am not aware of any grazing reserve in the state and even where such exist in some states, developments and the increase in population has over taken such areas, and that is why we must find a way out of the challenge.
“For us in Taraba, the Anti-Open Grazing and Ranches Establishment law is part of our solution to the problem,” he said.
The interactive session which commenced Sunday Night is ongoing with key stakeholders in government and other groups in attendance and may continue to Tuesday.