Benue State governor Samuel Ortom has acussed the Nigerian Presidency of deliberately denying him access to President Muhammadu Buhari, due to his critism of the president.
The governor made the statement after signing the States Anti-Open Grazing bill into law yesterday in Markurdi the state capital.
Governor Ortom said that it became necessary to sign the amended bill into law because the law had a lacuna that needed to be addressed. The bill which he describes as a “child of nessacity” was first signed into law by the governor on May 22, 2017.
The bill, among other things, prohibits the movement of Cattles and other livestock on foot. It was however amended by the governor to include stiffer penalties for violators, amongst others.
“We thought the bandits will respect the law of the land. We gave a moderate charge of 2,000 for any cattle impounded. A cow is sold for over 200,000. We discovered that the charges for other states are higher up to 70,000, because the policy is dynamic.
“We have decided to revise the charges for cows impounded in Benue State. Henceforth, if any cow is impounded, the owner will pay the sum of 50,000 instead of 2000.
“An additional 20,000 will be paid on a daily basis and if the cows are not taken away from the quarantine center after 7 days, they will be auctioned. All these we are doing to tell anyone involved in open grazing that it is wrong,” Ortom said.
The governor who escaped assassination by suspected Fulani militias in Benue last year, has been a stack critics of President Buhari, accusing him and his government of complicity on the issue of Herdsmen in the country. He also said that the people of Benue were not feeling the Impact of his Presidency.
“There is a problem and this has led to the failure of the Buhari government ab initio. They are just playing tricks with Nigerians, particularly, Benue State, where we are not feeling the impact of the presidency and I have been rebuked for trying to advise the president,including shutting me out of the presidential villa,” he added.
Governor Ortom further described the recent launch of the presidential rice pyramid as the greatest deceit by the president.
Recurring attacks in Benue(The food basket of the Nation) had lead to the death of thausands, and over 1.2 million people, including farmers displaced; resulting to food price surge and shortage in the country.