Ortom to Presidency: You’ll kill us to actualise grazing reserve

The Benue state government, Friday, said if the President Muhammadu Buhari administration must actualise the “cattle agenda through grazing reserves or any other thing different from ranching it should be ready to kill everybody in Benue state.

The government also said the decision of the president was capable of plunging the country into avoidable crisis.

A statement by Terver Akase, Chief Press Secretary to Governor Samuel Ortom, in Makurdi, said for the state government said it was unfortunate that the Buhari-led federal government was not worried about millions of Nigerians who have been displaced following attacks by armed herders.

“We were shocked and disappointed to read a statement from the Presidency indicating that President Buhari has approved recommendations of a committee to review “with dispatch,” 368 grazing sites across 25 states in the country, “to determine the levels of encroachment.

“In a country where insecurity has reached an all-time high with hundreds being killed by armed herdsmen, bandits and other terrorists, the Presidency is only bordered about animals and their safety and is deploying all machinery and arsenals of government to impose grazing reserves and cattle routes on Nigerians. This is unacceptable!”

According to the statement, “Benue state for instance has over 1.5 million displaced people with thousands living in camps and many more forced to flee their ancestral lands to stay under dehumanizing conditions in open fields.

“The Buhari administration does not seem to be worried about the food crisis already ravaging the country. Farmers have been chased into IDP camps by herders and children are dying of starvation in addition to being denied education, yet what is more important to their President is the wellbeing of cows.”

The government further said, “We expected the pitiable condition of the displaced people to be the preoccupation of the President whom they voted in 2015 and 2019.

“…If President Buhari must actualise his cattle agenda in Benue State, he should be ready to kill all of us! We know that grazing reserves and cattle routes are the only project that the President has for Nigeria, but Benue is not interested in such a project.”