117,000 IDPs in bad condition

Technical sub-committee of the
National Economic Council, NEC,
mediating between farmers and
herdsmen across the country has
disclosed that herdsmen in both
Benue and Nasarawa States have
agreed to adhere to the anti-open
grazing law enacted by Benue State,
but with conditions.
This is even as the committee
visited 117, 000 internally displaced
persons in seven camps in Benue,
with over 70 percent between the
ages of four and eight living in
devastating conditions.
Giving preliminary report in
Makurdi yesterday, Governor David
Umahi, who is the leader of the
sub-committee, said it also visited
Nasarawa State, which has 12 IDP
camps with 25,000 persons and over
20,000 of them Tivs.
programme meant for farmers to
animal husbandry, saying “animal
husbandry should be seen by
government as economic venture
to invest in.”
“The parties also talked about
the invasion by undocumented
herdsmen that come from other
countries, and demanded that this
should follow the international
ECOWAS peace documentation.
“The cheering news is that the
herdsmen in Benue and Nasarawa
States are ready to abide by the law,
but that they would need more
time for ranching and support
from federal government. More
time for them to move to grazing
reserves with the support of federal
government.”
The committee resolved to
pursue peace, disarm militia and
give support to security chiefs to
arrest anyone with illegal weapons,
no matter how highly placed.
Seeks ban on importation of agric produce
He emphasised on the expediency
of the federal government to send the
National Emergency Management
Agency, NEMA, to the two states,
saying the states lacked resources to
sustain them.
The governor said the conditions
given by the herdsmen included
more time for them to move to
grazing reserves with the assistance
of the federal government.
Umahi said that the sub-technical
committee met with stakeholders
and farmers in Benue, herdsmen
from the state who relocated to
Nasarawa, resident herdsmen
in Nasarawa, as well as the Tiv
indigenes of Nasarwa State.
He also disclosed that the Fulani
herdsmen denied laying claim to
the ownership of Benue through
conquest.
The governor said that the
committee realised that there is two
million hectares of land in 13 states
of northern Nigeria in which one
million hectares was gazetted as
grazing reserves but have not been
developed.
“There is a place in Gombe that
365, 000 hectares of land have been
developed as grazing reserves. We
have 74,000 hectares in Kaduna.
There is another location that has over
150,000 hectares of land that have
already been developed.
“This committee discovered that
there is over two million hectares
of land in 13 states of the northern
Nigeria that over one million of it is
gazetted and has not been developed
as grazing reserves,” Umahi said.
He stressed the need for the federal
government to start development
of grazing reserves and extend
the CBN anchor borrower loan

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