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Benue Youths advised Nigerians to support Ortom on Open Grazing ban
The Coalition of South East Youth Leaders, (COSEYL) has advised Nigerians of all diverse backgrounds to stand by Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State on the decision on the banning of open grazing.
The youths said that the call for the support was a fallout of an interview Ortom granted on Channels TV, addressing and appraising the security challenges associated with open grazing of the APC-led federal government and the handling of agitators like Nnamdi Kanu of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Sunday Adeyemo, known as Sunday Igboho, who is pushing for the Oduduwa Republic.
The appeal was contained in a statement jointly endorsed and issued by the President General of COSEYL, Goodluck Egwu Ibem and the Secretary-General, Comrade Kanice Igwe respectfully.
The group observed that Governor Ortom had bared his heart and asked why the federal government did not deploy the same measure of intelligence infrastructure it expended in going after agitators like Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho on the Boko Haram terrorists, killer herdsmen and the so-called bandits, and as well other militia formations operating in the North.
The group recalled that similar questions asked in the past by the youths were still being asked today, wondering if terrorism is the prerogative of the North, positing that that actions and activities of those seeking for a separate existence of some parts of the country could not be equated to terrorism.
“In Nigeria, there is no place where separatist agitators have raped, have killed, or have even sacked communities in the manner and measure Boko Haram and the armed Fulani herdsmen have combined or individually done, but yet the Federal Government keeps amnestying, keeps reintegrating these fiendish elements into the mainstream population – including into our military and keeps pardoning them,” the group submitted.
The group regretted the recent pardoning of over 50 Boko Haram members whereas the same federal government put in custody Nnamdi Kanu and, just as it is currently working hard to secure Igboho’s extradition from the Benin Republic, both for wanting to pull out of a nation whose government had failed to deliver the good.
“We share in Governor Ortom’s position and the salient issues he raised which should reveal to every Nigerian how selective the Buhari administration has been in securing the territorial space that is Nigeria,” the South-East youth group said.
The youth leaders stressed that even after killing, decimating and sacking settled communities – including farming ones – the Federal Government, through its Federal Executive Council (FEC), had creates a ten-year policy plan called the National Livestock Transformation Plan, NLTP (2019-2028) with the sum of ₦100billion.
According to them, the policy has pillar programmes like peace and conflict resolution, climate change and environmental issues, human capital development and so on, yet there is nothing visible on the ground to address the concerns and losses of the farmers whose lands and crops were burned and population displaced.
The body called for Justice which according to them, is the only thing that could keep the nation, especially, in a moment like this, adding that anything short of that would undermine national cohesion and every effort purportedly made in that regard.
“If the federal government could leverage security cooperation with its “allies” as Lai Mohammed, the minister of information, put it, then, why couldn’t they align its security and intelligence operations – as availed by the Lake Chad Basin Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) – with those of Chad when the late Idris Derby overran, overwhelmed, outflanked and pushed fleeing and decimated Boko Haram elements to the Nigerian margins?” It queried.
They expressed worries about the inability of the federal government recovered ungoverned spaces like Sambisa and other forests within the Niger, Katsina and Kaduna axes where bandits have turned to their lair and fiefdom.
The group expressed dismay that “President Buhari runs a government that pardons sworn terrorists, abductors of minors (girls mostly), enforcers of child bride and marriage, murderers of mercenary and missionary workers, killers of soldiers and destroyers of military gadgets including our Alpha Jets including the one still missing.”
The group commended Governor Ortom whose political decisions and policies have only been to serve the good of Benue State described him as the speaker and defender of the unvarnished truth.