The Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, on Thursday said he warned his Benue State counterpart, Samuel Ortom, against implementing the state anti-grazing law recently passed into law.
Lalong said this in an interview with State House correspondents shortly after meeting President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said his position was that it was wrong to start implementing the law without proper alternatives.
He said, “To be honest with you, I advised him. I told the governor of Benue State when he was initiating the law, I said ‘look, why don’t you tread softly, just be careful, take other steps before you start implementation.’
“But you see, states are different; his own concepts are different and for us on the Plateau, it is different.
“I said I would not do the law before implementation. I have not developed the ranching areas so I cannot go and say I put a law, to stop who? If I stop the people, what is the alternative?
“So, I said ‘do consultations, allow the people to understand and buy into the concepts.’”
Lalong insisted that his administration would not implement the anti-grazing law.
He said there were levels of implementation which would require government intervention, provision of ranches as well as subsidy from the federal and state governments.
The governor said by the time every structure was on the ground, then the government could promulgate laws to regulate the implementation.
“Ranching as a concept; it is a policy and there are states realising the importance of the policy.
“I cannot wake up like some people said last year that I should go and do anti-grazing law. And I asked ‘anti-grazing law for what?’
“We are talking about ranching, we are talking about development of livestock business and I cannot use the word ‘anti’ to start driving people who are interested away. It is for those who are interested to come and get involved in it, “ the governor said.