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Buhari’s govt prioritizing welfare of cows over human lives – Ortom

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The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, on Friday blasted the Federal Government for pressing ahead with the plan to carve out grazing reserves across 25 states despite resistance by Nigerians.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Thursday approved the review of 368 grazing reserves in 25 states of the federation.

Ortom, who reacted to the development in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, said the Buhari’s administration was not bothered by the killing of innocent citizens by bandits, armed herdsmen, and terrorists but preferred to deploy government’s arsenal to forcefully impose such a harmful policy on Nigerians.

He expressed disappointment that President Buhari had approved a panel’s recommendations for review of grazing sites to determine the levels of encroachment.

The governor said it has become very clear that the federal government wanted to plunge the country into avoidable crisis because there was no justification for the President to insist on the establishment of reserves and routes for cattle against the widely accepted ranching policy.

Ortom said: “Millions of Nigerians have been displaced following attacks by armed herders and are currently suffering in IDP camps. Benue State for instance has over 1.5 million displaced people with thousands living in camps and many more forced to flee their ancestral lands to stay under dehumanizing conditions in open fields.

“The Buhari administration does not seem to be worried about the food crisis already ravaging the country. Farmers have been chased into IDP camps by herders and children are dying of starvation in addition to being denied education, yet what is more important to the President is the well-being of cows.

READ ALSO: Nigeria fast becoming a failed state under Buhari – Ortom

“We expected the pitiable condition of the displaced people to be the preoccupation of the President whom they voted in 2015 and 2019. It is unfortunate that the people’s genuine show of love, trust, and votes for the President are being rewarded with hate, cruelty, and dictatorial policies aimed at grabbing their lands to donate to herders and cows.

“What is the difference between the Buhari administration’s approach to insecurity and the Taliban agenda in Afghanistan?

“It is now evident that the government at the centre prioritizes the welfare of cattle over human beings and is bent on taking Nigeria back to the pre-colonial era with some snippets of a society where in the words of Thomas Hobbes, life has become ‘solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short’.

“The country has been turned into a cow republic by the present administration and the basic principles of equality, justice, fairness, and equity which engender peace and suppress anarchy are non-existent.

“President Buhari has refused to prove wrong, those who accuse him of being a Fulani President. He has instead proven that he indeed belongs to somebody. But Buhari is not the first Fulani man to be President of this country.

“Nigeria had Presidents Shehu Shagari and Umaru Yar’Adua who were also of Fulani ethnicity; but were Presidents for all Nigerians and treated citizens of this country fairly and equitably.

“Our country has never been more divided on ethnic lines and sentiments as it is under President Buhari who was thought to be the most prepared to lead the country at this time. Under President Shagari and President Yar’Adua, Nigerians were not chided by a horde of presidential spokesmen and social media hirelings for simply expressing their views on government policies.”

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