The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom; his counterparts in the South-East and the Ekiti State Government have faulted a claim by the Presidency that the Federal Government has gazetted land in all the 36 states of the federation.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, had in a statement in Abuja on Sunday, said that the Federal Government would not impose the Ruga herdsmen settlement on any state.
He, however, said, “It is true that government at the centre has gazetted land in all the states of the federation.”
But Ortom, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, on Monday, challenged the Federal Government to show any proof of gazetted land in the state.
He said, “We wish to make it clear that no land in Benue State has been gazetted for grazing routes, grazing reserves, cattle colonies and Ruga settlements, contrary to the Presidency’s claim.
“We expect the Federal Government to publicly tender documents of the claimed gazetted land in Benue State to put the matter to rest.
“The Federal Government should show titles to the land it claims to have in Benue State, the evidence of compensation it paid to owners of such land, as well as the purpose for which the land was acquired.
“The Benue State Government has already made known its stand on the Ruga settlements matter that the state will not be part of the project.
“This was why the government and people of the state rejected the attempt to impose the Ruga settlement projects on them without the consent and approval of the governor who controls and administers the land in the state in trust for the people.”