Youths from various Benue communities including Zaki-Biam in Ukum local council, Otobi in Otukpo local government have protested against the planned Ruga settlements for herdsmen in the state.

The President of Benue Youth Congress, Orngu Angu, during the protest, said: “We are out marching on Benue streets this morning to protest the said plan of the Federal Government of Nigeria to establish Ruga settlement in Benue State.

“Benue State has recorded a lot of herdsmen crisis. When we heard the establishment of Ruga – for herdsmen to come and settle with us! We are out here this morning to say that we reject this.

“Our stand has remained on ranching. Benue State has a bill that says all herdsmen should ranch their cattle, anything short of that is an anomaly, and we Benue youths reject this.”

In the Otobi community where the proposed Ruga project signage was erected, the community leaders and the youths said they had sent a petition to the state government.

Speaking on the issue, the Otukpo local government chairman, Mr. George Alli, stated: “All lands belong to the state government. It is only the state government that has the right to give land to whoever it pleases. The locals have entrusted the state government with the lands.

“We maintain that Ruga settlement is a law against open-grazing in Benue State. If anybody wants to ranch, they should go to the state government. The state government will show them where they should go for ranching. They cannot come and point where they want to ranch.”

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