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Benue State rejects Buhari’s establishment of grazing reserves

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom

Benue State government has rejected in totality the new directive of President Muhammadu Buhari for the implementation of grazing reserves in 25 states in Nigeria.

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Ortom made this known on Arise Television programme monitored by SOJ WORLDWIDE on Friday.

Represented by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akasev, Ortom described the Federal Government as unfortunate and a very big disappointment.

He stressed that Nigeria has since left that stage of grazing reserves and open cattle rearing, noting that he is very sure that Benue is not among the 25 States on the list directed by President to consider review of grazing reserves.

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He said: ” We are deeply shocked and disappointed in the federal government. We expected that with the arrays of personalities on that committee, you will expect that they will live up their true meaning as exception for others. An expectations for all Nigerians as patrons.

” They should have advised Mr President that cattle routes or reserve as the case maybe are no longer possible and that the entire country in truly some states like his home state, Katsina has come to agree that grazing reserves or cattle routes no longer feasible.

” And Nigeria has left that stage. And it is into the stage of ranching now. For us in Benue, we have since left in 2017 the idea of open grazing. And we want to believed that Benue state is not among the 25 States because if they make the mistake of including it, no one will come to the state to map any land for cattle rearring or grazing reserve.”

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He reteirated further that what Benue state has is ranching for people of the state, saying there is no way anybody can come to Benue for mapping of lands as there is no way such can take place.

He said it is unthinkable that the same Benue people trooped out to canvass for votes for President Buhari in 2015 and 2019, yet he can treat them in such manner.

He asked why the presidency has been so fixated on open grazing and cattle routes.

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According to him: ” We don’t have lands for grazing reseves. We have lands for ranching for Benue people who owns livestock and operate the ranching according to the open grazing prohibition and ranching establishment laws of Benue state 2017.We wish to let the federal government know that if they make an error of including Benue in the list of States where mapped for open grazing, or cattle rearing, Benue state will resist it.

“How will I know when the federal government has chosen not to disclosed the names of the states. We are always speculating. That is why I asked that, if Benue is included in that list then they should know they are whipping a dead horse.

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” It will not take place. Grazing reserve will not take place in Benue state. We will resist it. The people will rise against it because they have unanimously given their plans to Governor Samuel Ortom to implement and of course the ban on open grazing.

” By the way, why is the presidency considering open grazing? Is grazing reserve the only project they have for Nigeria? Is that the only thing they can do for this country? Mr President was elected popularly in 2015 and 2019 by the same Nigerians who are in IDP camps in Benue. Thousands of this people are suffering in the camps.

” He has not done anything to alleviate the suffering of the people.All that we hear every day is that Mr President has directed that grazing reserve should be established in all the states.Was this man elected to imposed policies on Nigerians? This is democracy for goodness sake,” he noted.

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Written by Adesoji OMOSEBI

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