Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue state

Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue state, says herdsmen have failed woefully if the recent killings were meant to intimidate his administration into repealing the anti-grazing law.

The law, among other things, prohibits the movement of livestock on foot within the state.

Defending his action at a mass burial for 73 victims of the herdsmen crisis in Makurdi, the state capital, on Thursday Ortom insisted on ranching, saying “it is the best way to go and it is in conformity with global best practices”.

He also blamed the “silence” of the federal government for the killings.

The governor lamented that if the federal government had acted on the reports he gave it concerning the threats of attacks by the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, the killings would have been averted.

He urged the federal government to arrest the leadership of the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore because they had made incisive statements against the state.

The governor also rejected the suggestion for the state to create a cattle colony or grazing routes for herdsmen.

He said the suggestions were not acceptable to the Benue people.

Ortom said since the state did not have adequate land for farmers, there is no space to give herdsmen for grazing.

Samson Lalong, governor of Plateau state, had faulted the anti-grazing law, saying he warned Ortom against it.

Lalong spoke after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari earlier on Thursday.

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