Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
Contrary to fears and insinuations that the open grazing prohibition law will create frictions and breed bad blood in Benue State, the governor of the state, Dr. Samuel Ortom, has disclosed that the bill has rather endeared him to the people, adding that the bill protects both farmers and the Fulani herders.
Ortom disclosed this in Jos, Plateau State on Sunday at the annual thanksgiving service of Faithway Gospel Ministries where he and his wife Eunice were special guests of honour.
He said without any prompting from him, Benue people have endorsed him for a second tenure in 2019, adding: “I see and hear all around the state that people called me ‘Ortomatic’ , meaning that they have endorsed me to continue in 2019 automatically.”
He said the law was prayerfully considered and passed, and it has restored peace to the state, as there are no longer incessant clashes between herdsmen and farmers, noting that the law also protects the herders against cattle rustling, adding that violators have now been sent to prisons.
The governor and his wife, who were accompanied by the Director General of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) and his wife, Mr and Mrs. Joe Ari, to the event recounted how pressure was mounted on him from some Nigerian and African leaders to abandon the law, “but we went ahead because we know we had prayed about it and were convinced to go ahead with it”.