Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue, has said that the state followed due process in the passage of the open grazing prohibition bill and its signing into law.
This clarification was contained in a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr Godwin Akor, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Makurdi.
In the statement, Ortom made the disclosure while receiving the leadership of Makurdi Catholic Diocesan Laity Council at the Benue Peoples House.
The governor thanked the Catholic Church for standing firmly behind the present administration, adding that the bishop in-charge of the diocese had always encouraged him on matters concerning development, especially security.
Ortom disclosed that the herdsmen, who were not ready to ranch their cattle were already leaving the state and called on the Benue people to allow them to depart in peace.
He said those who were ready to ranch their cattle would be assisted to do so, noting that peace had started returning to the state.
The governor said the Catholic Church had assisted in the development of education, health and agriculture and assured that his administration would continue to partner with the body of Christ.
Ortom said he had been fighting corruption and corruption was fighting back but victory was certain at the end of the day because the state had been dedicated to God.
“My administration has made arrangements to block loopholes in the payment of salaries, so every other things have been suspended to ensure that salary problem is tackled,” Ortom said.
Earlier, the President of the Makurdi Catholic Diocesan Laity Council, Mr Damian Kpengwa, had lauded the governor for remaining committed to the development of the state.
Kpengwa also lauded him for giving support to the Church.
He pointed out that Ortom assisted the Catholic Church in giving the late Bishop Athanasius Usuh, a befitting burial and organised a glamorous coronation for Bishop Wilfred Anagbe.
The president condemned the criticisms from certain quarters against the anti-open grazing law and urged the governor not to waiver in the implementation.
He told the governor that the body would be requesting him to assist it in building its secretariat and hosting a national convention when the financial situation improved.
The president presented to him a Bible and Rosary after a prayer session for the success of the administration.
The executive members of the laity council were accompanied with the organization’s chaplain, Rev. Father Stephen Ishor.