Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has accused the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari of a hidden agenda to ‘Fulanise’ Nigeria.
The governor spoke on Tuesday during an interview on Channels Television, where he also lamented, saying, “Buhari is not the first Fulani man to rule Nigeria, and why is his administration different by condoning the atrocities of Fulani herdsmen?”
He particularly alleged that “the President is in support of the activities of Fulani herdsmen who are terrorising citizens, and killing people in efforts to chase them from their ancestral lands”.
Earlier on Monday too, Ortom had threatened to drag the Federal Government to court if President Buhari’s administration insisted on implementing its grazing routes and reserves policy.
The governor who spoke at the Makurdi Airport on his return from Delta State, said the Land Use Act was explicit on land ownership and management in the country, stressing that any attempt to subvert his right as a Governor through creation of non-existent cattle routes and reserves would be challenged in court.
He called on aides of the President to counsel him on issues, so that things would work better for the country.
He stressed that insisting on cattle routes in the 21st century when states had resorted to enacting ranching laws was retrogressive.
Ortom also lamented, saying, “Already, the country is facing serious food crisis owing to insecurity and if nothing is done to curtail the trend, the situation will get worse in the coming years.
While insisting that his state would not concede its land to the federal government for the policy, the governor said, “the truth is that if the entire country has accepted ranching, then why is the President insisting on open grazing when there is no land for such?
“In the 50s when this policy was initiated, what was the population of Nigeria, it was less than 40 million but today we are more than 200 million. The 923 square kilometers are not even enough to cater for the population. The reason Mr. President is insisting, to some of us is strange.
“The President has aides, including the Attorney General of the Federation and other lawyers around him who should advise him. For God’s sake it is laughable and it appears we do not know what we are doing.
“Benue people will certainly not accept open grazing. I have already briefed my lawyers to start the process next week if they insist on the grazing routes and grazing reserves policy. I will challenge it in court and I believe that I will get favorable judgement,” he fumed.