Ortom laments Akume’s opposition to anti-open grazing law
Governor Samuel Ortom has lamented the opposition of the senator representing Benue North West, George Akume, to the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law 2017, revealing that the lawmaker asked him not to assent to it.
Ortom made the disclosure yesterday at the Benue Peoples House, Makurdi during a joint courtesy call on him by representatives of Masev Development Association (MDA), Mbalom Unity and Progress Association (MUPA) Makurdi and Dooshima U Kasev Mbasa.
The governor explained that when he gathered Benue stakeholders in May 2017 to sign the ranching law in their presence, Akume called him aside and asked him not to assent to the law without giving any convincing reason.
He noted that when he told Akume to inform the stakeholders about his advice, the senator left him in anger.
Ortom wondered why a senator whose constituency had suffered greater amount of human and material losses to herders’ attacks would oppose a law proffering solution to the carnage and go out telling the world that his people were killing themselves.
He directed the immediate construction of classroom blocks at LGEA Primary School, Atu and the sinking of two boreholes in Mbasa, assuring the people that he would also address the challenges presented by the other groups as resources permit.
The people of Mbalom disagreed with Akume on his recent comment that the killing of the two priests and 17 other worshippers was perpetrated by Benue people and not herders.
The President of MUPA, Mr. Samuel Abagi, who differed with the senator on the claim, said the priests and worshippers were killed by militia herdsmen. He said his people were in support of the ranching law of the state and the entire administration of Governor Ortom.
Mr. Nicolas Gyegwe, leader of the MDA delegation, and Patrick Ningir, who spoke for MDA and Mbasa, pledged their unflinching support for the administration of the governor and his reelection in 2019.