From Msughshima Andrew, Makurdi

The Speaker, Benue State House Of Assembly, (BSHA), Hon. Titus Uba has said that the Federal Government of Nigeria has no eight to land in Benue State and cannot freely allocate land for the establishment of Ruga-Fulani settlements.

The speaker who stated this, Friday, in a press statement he read out to newsmen in his office in Makurdi, explained that the conference was to consolidate on the stand of the House during their plenary on Thursday.

Hon. Uba who insisted that the project is questionable said Benue State Government would not give out Benue land for the Ruga settlement initiative, as there is inadequate land to meet the farming needs of the agrarian communities of the state.

The statement read in part, “It is with a deep sense of patriotism and genuine concern for the welfare and wellbeing of the peace loving people of Benue, that I rise to condemn in strong terms recent plans by the Federal Government to establish Ruga settlements across the country approved by President Muhammadu Buhari led administration which they claimed would stop open-grazing by herdsmen and end herders-farmers crisis across the country.

“I hereby clearly state that the Federal Government of Nigeria cannot freely allocate land for the establishment of Ruga-Fulani settlements in Benue State and the Benue State Government would not give out Benue land for the Ruga settlement initiative, even as there is inadequate land to meet the farming needs of the agrarian communities of the state.

“Therefore, the 9th Benue State House of Assembly as a parliament condemns in totality plans by any individual, group of persons or the Federal Government to allocate any portion of land within Benue state for such a questionable project.

“To this end, I hereby categorically state that the Benue State House of Assembly rejects the move for Fulani-Ruga settlement in Benue State and instead support the full implementation of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law 2017 as ranching remains global best practice.”

He, on behalf of the Benue State House of Assembly, pledged 100 percent support to Governor Samuel Ortom and the people of Benue State on the enforcement of the Anti-open Grazing law as a panacea for ending herders-farmers conflict.

Our correspondent reports that federal government sign posts are sighted at a designated site for the proposed projects but the speaker reiterated that the federal government has no right to erect any sign post on any land in Beneu state.

“The entire Benue land belongs to the state governor and until he gives consent nobody has such right. If you want land in the state to do business concerning animal husbandry, you have to come through the service law.

He also said the House, during the plenary, also asked Governor Samuel Ortom to direct every chairman in the state’s 23 LGA to remove any sign post bearing such inscriptions.

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