Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom, has disclosed that bandits were operating in at least 24 out of 36 States in Nigeria, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The Governor warned that if not checked immediately, there may be food crisis across the country. He said the country’s demographics would also be affected, adding that many of those perpetuating the crime were not Nigerians.
The Governor spoke at the Nigeria Union of Journalists Correspondence Chapel, forum in Abuja. Ortom was guest speaker while Ndume was chairman.
Ortom said: “At least, 24 out of 36 states of Nigeria now have serious farmers and herdsmen crisis involving killings. Without ranching laws, herdsmen may soon be at every doorstep and that this will compromise farming and food security across the country.
“It will also complicate our demographics because many of those who want to herd livestock indiscriminately into the country and dispossess others of their ancestral lands are not even citizens of this country. Herdsmen attacks on farmers will only come to an end when open grazing is completely eliminated. Many countries in the world including those in Africa have embraced ranching.
“It is a good practice that enhances productivity of animals and quality of meat. There are potentials that good implementation of the ranching policy will make Nigeria become an exporter of meat and its associated value-chain of animal protein and allied products.”
On the growing trend of kidnapping, Ortom said: “There is another lucrative business in Nigeria with strong suspicion of connivance with government officials. The rise in kidnappings of all categories of people across the country is a dangerous trend. We don’t know who is telling the truth. But as it stands, there is a strong allegation that desperate politicians brought into the country foreign mercenaries to help them win elections.”