Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau state said yesterday that he cautioned Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state against hasty implementation of the anti-grazing law. Addressing State House correspondents after a closedoor meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, Lalong said it was wrong to ban open grazing without alternative measures.
He also said it was wrong to assume that it’s only Fulani people that engage in cattle rearing as agriculture is now an aspect of diversification of the economy of the present administration.
Lalong added that Plateau was enjoying peace at the moment because the state government brought all stakeholders together and educated them on the benefits of ranching, stressing that the decision of the federal government to establish cattle colonies is a welcomed development.
“I have said it a number of times that it is a matter of accommodating interests, you take everybody as your own. In Plateau state I did that because when I came I inherited a protracted crisis in the state and so my first priority was how to handle these crises and ensure we have peace in Plateau state. “Within three months we were able to achieve peace in Plateau state.
Most of the lingering crises were between farmers and herdsmen on the Plateau but today in most parts of the state you will see beautiful relationship between herdsmen and farmers. “Ranching as a concept is a policy and there are states realizing the importance of the policy. I cannot wake up like some people said last year that I should go and do anti-grazing law.
And I asked antigrazing law for what? We are talking about ranching, we are talking about development of livestock business and I cannot use the word ‘anti’ to start driving people who are interested. It is for those who are interested to come and get involved in it,” he said.