Acting President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday met with the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom and the National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno, over the menace of herdsmen attacks in the state.
Governor Ortom, who spoke with journalists after the meeting, which lasted for over one hour, said he was at the Presidential Villa to brief the acting president on the prevailing security situation in Benue State.
He said concerted efforts by his government had brought the crisis between herdsmen and farmers in the state to a level where, according to him, both parties in the dispute are beginning to understand each other.
The governor stated that his government was on the verge of signing into law an anti-open grazing bill that would also assist in addressing the challenge of clashes between farmers and herdsmen in the state.
Meanwhile, following alleged attacks on Ossissa community of Delta State by herdsmen, the House of Representatives yesterday called on the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to intensify efforts aimed at returning peace to the trouble area.
In a motion by Ossai Nicholas Ossai (PDP, Delta), the lawmakers further urged the police to immediately dislodge herdsmen of arms, which they are accused of carrying about.
They also called on the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to provide relief materials to members of the deceased families, as a way of assuaging their traumas.
In another development, the Federal Government has promised to bring down the price of local rice in the market to make it affordable to Nigerians. To this end, the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, would be meeting with the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, to discuss issues bothering on the high cost of local rice in the markets across the country.
Also, the government said it had concluded plan to engage the African Union and World Bank on how to discourage open grazing among AU member-states and encourage them to embrace ranching as the only way to curtail excess movement of cows.
Ogbeh, who disclosed this at the mid-term town hall meeting organised by the Ministry of Information and Culture in Abuja, said the plan was to protect the interest of local rice farmers and prevent importers from pushing local farmers out of business with cheap imported rice.
He said: ‘’We are going to have a meeting with the Acting President on this issue of high cost of rice in the markets. In another one month, you will have Nigerian rice in the local markets at whatever better price you have. We will not allow foreigners to push our farmers out of business with cheap imported rice. This will make local rice available in local shops.’’