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Herdsmen crisis: Ortom demands probe of failed RUGA contracts

… CAN backs governors’ grazing law against herders’ attacks

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, again called on the federal government yesterday to institute a probe into contracts awarded for the establishment of RUGA settlements in parts of the country. This is just as president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend Samson Ayokunle, stated that the church is united in its support for the governor’s stance concerning militia herdsmen’s attacks. Governor Ortom made the call while declaring open the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting and General Assembly of CAN taking place in Makurdi.

He said although majority of Nigerians rejected RUGA, the contracts had already been awarded, saying it is, however, the right of the people to know what became of the funds. Ortom emphasised 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. He said it was necessary that funds earlier earmarked for the projects be recovered and utilized for the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP). While alluding to threats and inciting statements credited to some Fulani socio-cultural associations, the governor observed that their intention was not about cattle grazing but to take over the land.

Ortom reaffirmed his administration’s resolve to continue with the enforcement of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law, 2017, calling on the church not to cease prayers and remain united in order to overcome challenges.

In his remarks, National President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), His Eminence, Reverend Samson Ayokunle, said the church is united in support of the governor’s stand against militia herdsmen’s attacks, thanking the government and people of the state for the warm reception accorded delegates to the CAN NEC meeting and General Assembly. On his own, Tor Tiv, Prof. James Ayatse, tasked Christians to complement faith with works to achieve desired goals.

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