Open-Grazing Ban: Nasarawa Govt Calls For Calm

Nasarawa State governor, Tanko Al-makura has called for calm amidst migration of Fulani herdsmen from Benue State into some border communities of the state following the anti-open grazing law implemented by the Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom.

Al-Makura said this after surveillance of the affected communities with security chiefs in Lafia, the Nasarawa state capital.

The governor said the migration has not reached an alarming rate and that modalities have been put in place to ensure that there is no disruption of law and order in the state.

He said, “after advising all local government areas and stakeholders to remain calm and not allow any of such things to cause disruption of peace and order in the state, we felt we should also go and see for ourselves with all the security chiefs in the state.

“We have gone round about five local governments that make boundary with Benue State, we have noticed some movements of Fulanis migrating. But as far as we are concerned it has not reached an alarming stage. We are keeping our eyes opened and being vigilant to ensure that the migration does not disrupt peace and stability in the state.”

READ ALSO: Al-Makura Convenes Security Meeting Over Tension In Border Communities

The governor said residents should remain calm and to go about their normal businesses and also accommodate the herdsmen.

“We advise people to remain calm and go about their normal duties and also give some kind of reception in areas where their crops will not be encumbered for the time being as far as we are concerned no cause for alarm we will keep monitoring.

“We have already set committees along all these local government areas to monitor the movement and migration if it becomes intensive then we will know the next thing to do,” he said.

On whether there would be a replication of the same law in Nasarawa state, he kept the details as he said, “not in my imagination for, now.”

There have been concerns over the influx of Fulani herdsmen into agrarian border communities between Nasarawa and Benue States since the anti-open grazing law took effect on Wednesday, November 1.

Ortom Seeks Military’s Intervention In Farmers/Herdsmen Crisis

The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has appealed to the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Burutai for military’s intervention as the state is set to ban open grazing beginning from November 1st, in the face Miyyeti Allahs’ war threats.

Governor Ortom made this call during the burial of the Late Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Victor Malu at Tse-Adoor, Katsina-Ala Local Council of Benue state, where General Burutai led the military hierarchy to pay their last respect.

General Burutai who conducted the military internment ceremony, described Late Victor Malu as a soldier who fought to restore peace in Liberia, promising to reward his people by protecting them from external aggression.

Governor Samuel Ortom arriving Tse-Adoor community, joining the Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Burutai and the family of Late General Victor Malu to pay their last respect.

Also at the burial was the former governor, Mr Gabriel Suswam, Generals Kenneth Minimar and Azubuike Ihejirika, both retired Chief of Army Staff.

The homilist, Reverend Terseer Shagba charged leaders on responsible leadership which governor Ortom catches-in on to appeal for military support against herdsmen threats.

Buratai, Ortom Attend General Malu’s Burial

File photo: Malu

The Nigerian Army led by the Chief Of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Burutai today, October 28, paid tribute to former Chief Of Army Staff, Late General Victor Malu as he is laid to rest.General Malu died at the age of 70 in the early hours of Sunday, October 8, in Cairo, Egypt where he was receiving medical attention.

He had battled diabetes and challenges of having a stroke since 2008.

The late General was giving a military burial at his family compound, in Tongov, Mbajima, Katsina-Ala Local Government Area of Benue state.

See photos below…

Ortom Calls On Nigerians To Unite In Honour Of Maitama Sule

The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has urge Nigerians and all ethnic nationalities to shelve the idea of disintegration and inter-tribal threats in honour of the sacrifices and contribution of  elder statesman, Maitama Sule.

Gov. Ortom gave this advise while addressing journalist on the gains of Nigerians living together, believing that the country is better off in terms of security and development.

The governor also commiserated with the government and people of Kano state and advise Nigerians to emulate the virtues of past heroes who gave their all the building the country to what it is today.

“I express my condolences to the government and people of Kano state and Nigerians at large, because the impact of Maitama Sule gave to Nigeria during his life time cannot be over-emphasised”.

” He served diligently, he fought for the unity of this country, he stood for the truth.

“He stood for patriotism, he stood to unite and to build a one Nigeria,

“It is unfortunate that he left this very time that there are divisive voices of disunity over our country Nigeria.

“My prayer is that the almighty God will keep his soul and may his soul rest in peace”.

Former Benue Gov, Suswam’s Trial To Continue In Abuja

Justice Gabriel Kolawole has ruled that the trial of the former Governor of Benue State, Mr Gabriel Suswam, will continue at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

This followed an agreement by the defence and prosecution counsel that the trial will continue at the FHC.

Earlier, the prosecution had brought an application demanding that the trial be transferred to Benue State, saying the security situation there has been controlled and that there is peace in the state.

But the defence counsel, Mr Taiwo Kawul objected, insisting that there is still crisis in Benue as different factions loyal to Mr Suswam and the incumbent governor, Samuel Ortom are still fighting.

But the prosecutor refused the objection saying he can only move that the trial be continued in Abuja if the defence would make an undertaking that they will not challenge the trial on territorial jurisdiction.

Benue Governor Signs Bill Prohibiting Open Grazing Into Law

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has signed the Open Grazing Prohibition Bill 2017, which prescribes a five-year jail term for herdsmen or pastoralist caught engaging in open grazing of animals in the state, into law.

Open grazing has been blamed for the frequent clashes between farmers and herdsmen, which has claimed hundreds of lives in the state.

The governor signed the bill into law at a stakeholders meeting at the Government House in Makurdi.

“The law brings an end to the incessant clash between livestock/herds rearers and crop farmers in the state, who in attempts to protect their respective interest, clash, kill maim and destroy persons and properties,” Governor Ortom said.

“The law also encourages large-scale livestock and crop farming in a secure  environment and the Ministry of Agriculture has been empowered to administer and regulate livestock production in the state.”

Also, under the law, the governor said it would be illegal for livestock owners or farmers to bear firearms.

He said, “Any person found guilty of open grazing, shall be sentenced to five years’ imprisonment or a fine of N1,000, 000. It is an offence if livestock to stray to the other persons’ land. No open grazing, no movement of livestock on foot within and across Benue state and no livestock owner or farmer shall carry firearms.”

Governor Ortom also signed the Anti-Kidnapping and Terrorism Law, which prescribes the death penalty for offenders.

At the stakeholders meeting, many speakers, including the Tor Tiv, Professor James Ayatse, and Senator George Akume, backed the governor and the law.

The Parish Priest of Saint Francis Catholic Church, Daudu, Reverend Father Solomon Mfa, who was displaced by herdsmen in 2014, thanked the governor for bringing consolation to many internally displaced persons by signing the bill into law.

He said, “With all sense of fulfilment, we have seen the promise land and all that is left is to enter the promise land which I feel will be done if this (law) is implemented.

“When the bill was passed by the Benue State House of Assembly, we saw some herdsmen going out of the state and for us who are farmers, that is a big plus because now we can access our farms without fear of being killed or slaughtered; this is a big milestone.”

Meanwhile, representatives of the herdsmen in the state have appealed for more time to enable them to establish ranches, while citizens hailed the state government for addressing the issues of insecurity.

The representative of Fulani herdsmen, Mr Garus Gololo, said, “He (Governor Ortom) said he is not driving the Fulani away from Benue State, unlike what other people have been speculating, hence the issue of ranching.

“You know, ranching is not a one-day process and we will go back and tell them what the governor said. We are fully in support of the ranches because ranches may even produce fatter cows than the one walking around.”

For many families in the state, signing the bill into law a step in the right direction, but the successful implementation is key to the return of peace to the state.

Workers’ Day: Ortom Declares Emergency On Payment Of Salaries

Benue,As Nigeria marks Workers’ Day, the Governor of Benue State, Mr. Samuel Ortom, has declared a state of emergency on the payment of salaries to workers in the state.

The governor made the declaration at the IBB Square in Makurdi, the state capital, insisting that the welfare of workers must be prioritised over ongoing infrastructure projects across the state.

Governor Ortom expects to clear two month’s salary arrears with the second tranche of the Paris Club refunds of N13bn.

The NLC Chairman in the state, Mr. Godwin Anya, commended the governor for deciding to clear the five months’ salary arrears of civil servants in the state.

Gov. Ortom Rededicates Benue To God, Seeks Refund Of Looted Funds

Benue, Ortom, Looted FundsGovernor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to quickly investigate the alleged looting of over 151 billion Naira by officials of the previous administration and ensure its recoveries.

Mr Ortom made the call at a service for the rededication of Benue State and its people to God in the face of mounting economic and security challenges.

The interdenominational service, which held at the IBB Square to seek repentance before God, marked the end of a two-week state-wide prayer and fasting to seek lasting solutions to its socioeconomic challenges.

The rededication service commenced with a praise and worship session as the Governor and the congregation danced before God.

Founder, Dunamis International Gospel Church, Paul Enenche, preached on the significance of dedication and submission to God as the states seeks to break free from its challenges.

Also taking into account, the cooperate repentance of the state and her people, the Catholic Bishop of Makurdi, Bishop Wilfred Anagbe, charged the people to return to agriculture and shun idleness.

Governor Ortom then made the passionate appeal to the EFCC to help recover funds looted from the state.

In the end, he led the state exco members and some federal legislators to God as he prayed to break unholy ancestral covenants.

This led to joyous celebration among the participants.

Ortom Receives Former Benue PDP Secretary Into APC

Benue, APC, OrtomGovernor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, has asked new members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who decamped from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to submit to party hierarchy and shun acts of indiscipline within the APC to enable the party consolidate.

The Governor gave this advice while receiving into the party, hundreds of PDP members from Ushongu and Kwande Local Government, led by the immediate past PDP State Secretary, Mr Bem Dzoho.

The former PDP Secretary said that his people could no longer afford to play opposition politics, considering the performance of the Governor in sectors like education, health and infrastructural development.

Governor Ortom assured them of equal opportunity in the party, but warned that the APC-led government in the state has remained relevant because of the transparent management of scares resources and its firm stand against corruption.