The governor of Benue state, Samuel Ortom has requested the federal government to completely jettison the idea of the controversial Ruga settlements for herdsmen across the country and instead seek solutions to the ceaseless causes of their violence-ridden seasonal migration from the North to the South and back. The governor warned that the idea of creating ruga settlements for herdsmen from the North and their brothers from West Africa and Libya was not a solution to the farmers/herdsmen conflict but rather a great danger that could threaten the existence of the country.
Speaking while declaring open the 43rd annual conference of the Soil Science Society of Nigeria at the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi. Ortom observed, through this deputy that desert encroachment and lack of sufficient vegetation, which were responsible for these movements, could be remedied as was done in Israel, where a complete desert was transformed into a rich agricultural hub. He stated that if the sandy Negev desert, which had no water or vegetation could be so transformed, there was no reason the same could not be done in the north of Nigeria that had water and vegetation but faced the challenge of desert encroachment.
He noted that “if the sandy Negev desert, which had no water or vegetation could be so transformed, there was no reason the same could be done in the north of Nigeria where there are water and vegetation but the only problem is desert encroachment.