Present letters on ambassadorial appointments
Governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) States met with President Muhammadu Buhari in the State House, over the security situation in their states.
While the Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom said, he came to give President Buhari an update on the Fulani herdsmen/farmers clash, disclosing that dialogue with relevant stakeholders and security agencies has resulted in relative peace returning to the state. The governors of Jigawa, Badaru Abubakar and Bauchi, Ahmed Abubakar, said they expressed concern over increase in kidnapping as well as insurgency and other criminal activities in their states.
Ortom explained to State House correspondents that his meeting with the President was to help address some of the security challenges faced in the state.
He said the Benue Government has been partnering with security agencies and have received support from the Federal Government to tackle the level of crime and clashes between herds men and farmers.
“We have been having security challenges but thank God with the collaboration with some security agencies in my state and with the support of Mr. President, I can say that is relatively calm. Today, the issue of herdsmen and farmers we have been able to through dialogue agree to work together in a manner that there will be win-win,”.
The governor however said the final solution to end clashes between farmers and Fulani herdsmen was to adopt the system of ranching.
“I have always said this, if we can copy the presidential system from America why can we not copy ranching? But you see it is a gradual process and cannot be done over night.
“We are propagating ranching as the final and lasting solution to these issues of herdsmen and farmers clashes. But is something that cannot be done over night. We need the collaboration of the states and the federation to agree on a formula, one for the nomads. In Nigeria, we must find a way of educating them, give them a new orientation on how to live better by ensuring that we establish ranching and government must come in to provide the infrastructure and support that is needed to do this.
“The final solution I tell you the truth is about ranching because the line that use to exist in the 50s where cattle routes and grazing areas were designated are no longer there. Today, we no longer have the 923,000 kilometers as it used to be because we have seeded part of Bakassi to Cameroon. And because of the increase in human population, in the 50s we were less than 40 million people but today we are over 170 million and that was 2012 projection and today we are in 2016 and we should be more than this”.
Governor Ortom disclosed that the state was also planning the construction of Cargo Airport in Markudi to assist in the export of the huge agricultural produce from the state to other parts of the country and for export.
The Airport project according to him will be executed through a 85 percent contribution from a consortium of private sector with Benue only putting in 15 percent.
Also speaking on security issues Governor Jigawa State Badaru Abubakar and Ahmed Abubakar of Bauchi State who met with the President said they were making efforts to stop the excesses of Fulani herds men.
According to the governor of Jigawa, “We have been fighting insurgency and criminal elements in our individual states but we believe we need a coordinated fight between Bauchi and Jigawa to finally drag them out of the forest and finally put rest to the problem there. The President is willing to assist us and certainly we will see some action”.
The Bauchi governor said, “As you can see I am here with the governor of Jigawa, as you know we share a border with Jigawa, we have come to discuss some security concerns with the President to solicit for his support for us to effectively ensure security in the two states, this is basically what we have come to discuss.
“Kidnappers mainly, we are concerned that the spate of kidnapping is increasing and anything that will touch on the security of our state is a matter of grave concern to us, that is why we have rushed here before it becomes endemic and we have conferred with the President and we have his support .
“The military is conducting exercise in the area but what the excercise lacked before is coordination between the two states so there is a need for us to cordinate and for us to do that we require the seal of the C-In-C”.
Ortom said APC governors also presented letters for consideration to Bugari over the lopsidedness in his numerous appointments including the recent nomination of Ambassadors designate.
The decision is part of the agreement reached at an emergency meeting held between the APC governors and President Buhari penultimate Monday at the presidential villa, Abuja.