From Rose Ejembi Makurdi
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has said that he has no apology for anyone over his comments regarding high level insecurity in the country as perpetrated by herdsmen.
Governor Ortom stated this on Friday during the burial of his uncle, Samuel Atule in Guma local government area, stressing that if the ranching policy is adopted, it would ensure peaceful coexistence between herders and farmers in the country.
“Anyone who may feel uncomfortable with my comments should come out and challenge me to a debate so that the world will hear both sides and judge whether I’m right or wrong. It is unfortunate that some people because of the crumbs they are benefitting from the situation, they shy away from speaking the truth on the worsening security in the country”.
Governor Ortom recalled a recent situation where herdsmen came into his village and abducted a woman, took her into the bush and raped her for three days before she was rescued and taken to the hospital where she is currently receiving treatment.
He posited that regardless of widespread blackmail and intimidation against him, he will continue to speak the truth at all times.
“I will continue to talk until the people who voted me into office ask me to stop. We cannot allow lawlessness to prevail in this country because if we do, there will be anarchy.
“Yesterday, they said I was being unreasonable by enacting the anti open grazing law, but today, every state is adopting it. The whole world has come to now believe that what I was saying was the truth.”
While noting that ranching remains the global best practice for rearing livestock, Ortom said the benefits of ranching will soon be appreciated by the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration.
He however explained that his adminstration was not against anybody or group of persons keeping animals, but insisted that anyone who wants to do livestock business in Benue must have to ranch them.
The Governor described his late Uncle as somebody who wanted things to be done in the right way.
Earlier in his remarks, the paramount ruler of Guma, His Royal Highness, Chief Nyikyaa Shemberga enjoined youths in the area to desist from takin laws into their hands by passing jungle justice on people they suspected to be behind deaths of youths in the area.
In a requiem, Pastor Mike Ugee called on Christians to prepare ahead of time to receive Christ before their death, describing late Samuel Atule as staying in God’s lap in heaven.