The Middle Belt Movement for Justice and Peace, MBMJP, has urged the Federal Government to apologize to Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state for allegedly vilifying him over his unwavering stance on the adoption of ranching as panacea for the herdsmen crisis in the country.
The MBMJP said the Federal Government owes the Governor an apology following the recent decision of the government to convert grazing reserves in the country to ranches for herders.
Convener of MBMJP, Comrade Joe Bukka in a statement yesterday in Makurdi, said it would be unfair if the federal government fails to apologize to the Governor after he was severally disparaged by powerful forces in Abuja for championing the call for ranching in the country.
Comrade Bukka said now that the Federal Government has made a detour to embrace ranching after Governor Ortom was insulted, threatened and blackmailed for leading the campaign for ranching, the noble thing to do is to apologize to him for all the previous unwarranted attacks on his person and office.
“As Nigerians with conscience, we demand that the federal government apologize to Governor Ortom who was severally vilified and even threatened for leading the dogged campaign to have ranching entrenched in the country. All he did was to have the country adopt the global best practice in animal husbandry and end the killings of farmers and sacking of our communities but some self seeking people and forces in Abuja who failed to realize that his advocacy was for the good of the country led the battle against him,” the MBMJP Convener stated.
He insisted that the apology will not only heal the wounds but also deepen understanding and usher in greater development.
Comrade Bukka said Governor Ortom has been vindicated by the Federal Government’s sudden acceptance of ranches, stressing that the Governor’s courageous dogged stand to have the country adopt ranching which is the global best practice in animal husbandry is not in vain.
He said it was unfortunate that the Benue State Governor’s good intention to help end the killings of farmers and sacking of our communities was misunderstood by some self-seeking people who failed to realize that his advocacy was for the good of the entire country.
The Convener of MBMJP described the planned remodeling of grazing reserves to ranches to transform the livestock industry as a welcome development.
He,however,stated that the planned policy is laudable but Benue does not have gazetted grazing reserves and therefore urged the Federal Government to support the state’s Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law.