Ortom: Open grazing supporter have evil agenda
M’Belt youths decry security challenges in region
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has said that those who kick against the ban on open grazing in the country have evil agenda.
Speaking yesterday when the Middle Belt Youth Organisations’ Forum (MBYOF) visited him at Government House, Makurdi, Ortom said that open grazing was no longer fashionable.
His words: “Anyone against banning of open grazing has evil agenda, because, as it is now, rearing of cattle openly is no longer fashionable and it has rather brought a lot of security challenges to the country. As governors, we have responsibility to provide security for our people. It is our primary duty.”
Although, the President of MBYOF, Terrence Kuanum, who led a delegation of youth leaders to the visit, decried security challenges in the Middle Belt region, particularly Benue, Kaduna and Plateau states.
He alleged that young people cause some of the challenges for selfish reasons.
“It is more worrisome that some person’s within the zone, because of selfish interest, were aligning with the killers to twist the narrative about the killings in the region,” he stated.
Kuanum, who is also the President of Benue Youth Forum (BYF), intimated that Middle Belt youths had also instituted various court cases to seek justice over the killings in the zone.
He stated: “The youths were in the state to hold a meeting and deliberate on issues like the need for the establishment of the North Central Development Commission, state police and, above all, the urgency for the Federal Government to evolve a National Policy on Ranching to permanently end open grazing, which is basically the cause of clashes between herdsmen and farmers.”
Youths in the region, he disclosed, have also embarked on robust campaigns against the leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) who have variously accepted responsibility for the killing of the people.
“Your Excellency, you have been calling on the Federal Government to consider these and other important issues, and we find it necessary to support your patriotic call. We appreciate your esteemed contributions to our various struggles, which you have always done through the BYF and we ask God to bless you richly.
“We commend your efforts so far in trying to curb the menace within your state and we urge other leaders of the region to emulate your statesmanship and strategies,” Kuanum told the governor.
Governor Ortom advised Nigerians, irrespective of tribe and religion, to join hands and rescued the country from evil people who do not wish the nation well.
He said he owed no one apologies for speaking out when he saw that injustice against the people.
“If what we do or say is against the constitution, I challenge anyone to come out, and if he or she has superior argument, I will support,” he added.