The Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong has said despite his influence as the Chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum to convince his colleagues to stand against open grazing and adopt ranching, the effort to ban the practice in his state is being frustrated by the State House of Assembly.
According to him, contrary to the false narrative spread in the state that the government is not doing anything to stop open grazing, the bill seeking to ban the act, which has been sent to the Assembly is yet to be passed.
Speaking at the Azi Nyako Youth Centre, Dadin Kowa, Jos, while swearing in the Executive Members of the Plateau Youth Council (PYC) on Thursday, Lalong said the National Livestock Transformation Programme (NLTP) would have been launched at the Wase Grazing Reserve to commence ranching if not for the recent attacks and subsequent disruptions.
The governor called on the youths to be cautious of some politicians who take pride in setting the youths against the government by insinuating that the governor or government does not care about the people, or is allowing the land belonging to Plateau indigenes to be grabbed by foreign herders, saying it’s a lie that has no basis in the face of facts.
His words, “This is a great opportunity that I have personally longed for, to meet with my dear youths under the umbrella of the Plateau Youth Council, which is the beacon of the youth movement in the State.
“This swearing-in is coming at a time when Plateau State and Nigeria needs the unity, vibrancy, support and positive action of the youths more than ever.
“That is why I continue to appeal to the youths to eschew violence, hatred, intolerance and bigotry. Rather, our youths should embrace tolerance, diversity, mutual respect and love which are more powerful, enduring, and beneficial to society in the long run.
“You must resist the toxic narratives that push you to resort to unconventional means of ventilating your grievances. Government shall work closely with the new leadership of the PYC to ensure that our youths are kept abreast and involved in all empowerment programmes of the State and Federal Governments.
“Similarly, our efforts to end conflicts between herders and farmers are being ignored and twisted for politics. As Chairman of the Northern Governors, I prevailed on my colleagues to take a position against open grazing by adopting modern ranching.
“I sent a Bill to the House of Assembly which will outlaw open grazing in Plateau State if passed into law. To date, the House of Assembly is yet to pass the law. Yet you hear the false narrative accusing the Government of not doing anything or ‘standing with the people.”
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