Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has declared that people of the state will support the re-election bid of President Muhammadu Buhari only if the president’s policies and interests are in line with the yearnings and wishes of people of the state.
Besides, the governor also ruled out widespread rumour about his plot to defect from the governing All Progressives Congress to another political party.
Governor Ortom disclosed this during an interaction with journalists at the government house in Makurdi to mark this year’s democracy day anniversary.
He said if it were for the massive killing of innocent people by armed Fulani herdsmen, the issue predates the present administration as it started way back in 2011.
“Benue will vote for President Buhari if his policies and interests are in line with the yearnings and wishes of the people, and let me tell you the issue of herdsmen killings predates the present administration it started before we came in”.
“There are reasonable Fulani herdsmen that have come out to adopt the ranching which we have promulgated since last year as the last resort to solve this problem. For us, we have identified Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore as been responsible for the ongoing killing in the state. Even the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN have agreed with us that ranching is the best way to go”.
He flayed widespread rumour that he was planning to dump the APC to another political party saying those who initiated the idea are those who are out to blackmail him and push him away from the party.
“I am in APC, let it be clear to the doubting Thomases that I am still in APC. I could have issues but that does not deny me of been a member of the party”.
“Those who initiated that rumour are people who are out to blackmail me and to push me away. I am not going anywhere I will remain here, they should wait for their time but for me, I am still here and if there is any course for me to defect, I will make it public”.
Ortom who presented a catalogue of his scorecard in the last three years said, the greatest challenges that confronted his administration is the threat to security caused by the invasion of the land and killing of hundreds of people by armed Fulani herdsmen.
He said that state has decided to carry out low key celebration because of the attacks and killings, adding that between January and now, over 495 persons have been killed by the invaders.
“There are 180, 000 Internally Displaced Persons in eight camps covering Guma, Logo and Makurdi local government areas, 500, 000 others living with relatives or in uncompleted buildings, 80, 000 displaced children with 2, 442 pregnant and 2, 766 nursing mothers”.
The governor said at least 198 herdsmen are facing trial in various courts for gross violation of the anti-grazing law.