Monday, 20 September, 2021

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Extend Ranching Grant To Other States, Ortom Tells Buhari


Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom on Friday called on president Muhammad Buhari to extend the ranching grant given to Katsina State to other states of the federation.

Ortom made the call while speaking with newsmen on Makurdi.

He, however, described as hypocritical, the decision of the president who he said had jettisoned calls on ban on open grazing to later approved N6.5billion for ranching in his home state.

Ortom said, “I also read somewhere that Mr. President approved N6.5billion for ranching in Katsina State. What kind of hypocrisy is this?

“Are we a serious country at all? If the President would say that the Attorney General of the Federation should ensure the relocation of those who have encroached on cattle routes and grazing areas despite the upsurge of the population from 1950 figure when we were less than 40 million and today that we are over 200million people; if Mr. President would say that the Attorney General should ensure that we do open grazing in Nigeria, and the same President is encouraging ranching in Katsina State where he comes from, that is certainly laughable and hypocritical.

“That shows that we have no government in this country. If that is true I want the Presidency to come out with an explanation because it is a shame.

Governor Ortom asked the presidency to apologise to him and the same time demanded that the sum of N100 billion should be considered for the state for being the first to start campaign on ranching.

“Our agitation in Benue State since 2017 has been for ranching and of course you recall that the Governor of Katsina State did say that it is unislamic for anybody to talk about open grazing. The prohibition of open grazing is the only thing that will help this country including the provision for ranching.

“So if the President has approved N6.5billion for Katsina State, they should also approve N100billion for Benue State with apology to me because we started it.

“It is hypocrisy for the federal government to approve money for ranching in a state and leave others out. And in fact the Governor of the state in his remark said N5billion had already been remitted to their coffers. So I begin to wonders, where are we headed.

The governor also berated the APC-led government for the insecurity and economic problems facing the country.

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