Benue state Governor, Samuel Ortom has hit out at Minister of Defence, Mansur Muhammad Dan-Ali over statement credited to the latter that the anti-grazing law caused the recent spate of attacks of farming communities by herdsmen.
“You see, whenever a crisis happens at any time, there are remote and immediate causes. Look at this issue (of killings in Benue and Taraba), what is the remote cause of this farmers’ crisis?
“Since the nation’s Independence, we know there used to be routes whereby the cattle rearers took because they are all over the nation. You go to Bayelsa, Ogun, you will see them. If those routes are blocked, what do you expect will happen?
“These people are Nigerians. It is just like going to block the shoreline, does that make sense to you? These are the remote causes of the crisis. But the immediate cause is the grazing law. These people are Nigerians and we must learn to live together with each other.
“Communities and other people must learn how to accept foreigners within their enclave, finish,” Dan-Ali had said.
Reacting to the minister’s statement, Gov. Ortom said, “If that Minister said that, I think I will just conclude that the people around Buhari, our President, are a wrong set of people who are not capable of giving him quality advice and also proffer solutions to the problems we have here”.
“These are people who are supposed to be supporting Mr. President and for their selfish interests, they are misinforming him, they are misdirecting him to do the wrong thing. Killings are going on in the state and you are talking about law, is there any law prohibiting cattle grazing in Adamawa, Plateau, Kaduna, Enugu, Ebonyi, Delta, Bayelsa, Ondo, Ekiti, Imo, Oyo and other states including Zamfara?”