President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval to review grazing reserves in 25 states in the country has been criticised by Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom.
This was said in a statement signed by Terver Akase, the governor’s chief press secretary, on Friday.
Governor Ortom stated that the decision appeared to be the President’s attempt to turn Nigeria into a “cow republic.”
“We were shocked and disappointed to read a statement from the Presidency indicating that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved recommendations from a committee to review 368 grazing sites across 25 states in the country “with dispatch,” to determine the levels of encroachment,” the statement read in part.
“In a country where insecurity is at an all-time high, with hundreds of people killed by armed herders, bandits, and other terrorists, the Presidency is only concerned about the safety of animals and is using all government machinery and arsenals to impose grazing reserves and cattle routes on Nigerians. This is inexcusable!” he exclaimed.
The governor went on to accuse the Buhari administration of “turning a blind eye to the inconceivable amounts of livestock incursion on Nigerians’ lands.”
“Mr. President has never spoken out against herdsmen’s actions or the attacks they perpetrate on innocent people. The only time the President is heard discussing the herders’ atrocities is when he defends them. The Presidency has made it apparent that it wants to plunge the country into an avoidable crisis. Otherwise, what justifies President Buhari’s insistence on the establishment of grazing reserves across the country when Nigerians have openly defied the program and embraced ranching instead of open grazing?”