Anxiety reigns in Benue State after the Presidency hints at plans to reintroduce grazing routes in the country.
In a reaction to the President’s planned action to reintroduce grazing routes in the country, this online news medium learnt that the President’s comments did not go down well with Benue people who have not hidden their resolve for the absolute implementation and enforcement of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law enacted by the state government in 2017.
To the people, the resolve of the Federal Government to return grazing routes in the country was not only out of tune with the realities on ground, it would also run at variance with the state’s subsisting law which, to a large extent, has stemmed the spate of herdsmen and farmers’ bloody clashes that have claimed thousands of lives in Benue.
In Benue-born social commentator, Terver Atsar’s thoughts, “the President’s comment is, by far, the most direct admission by him that he has no idea of what the modern solution to what he described as an old problem is”. This, according to Naija News.
Atsar goes on, “It is unacceptable to pay glowing tribute to the age of a problem as a reason why it can’t be solved with modern thinking, a job he was elected to do. That President Buhari is still stuck with a questionable narrative on grazing routes is unacceptable.
“Unfortunately for him but fortunately for us in Benue, history books have no gazetted grazing routes in Benue. He cannot fabricate those documents he needs to back up the false claims of historic grazing routes in Benue. The reason the people he requested to exhume those documents could not do so is that those documents never existed.
“By refusing to admit that even if we had such grazing routes in the past, they should have become obsolete in 2019, President Buhari has admitted that he is a leader who is stuck in the past and cannot figure out modern solutions to current problems. We obviously need another hero. Apologies to Tina Turner who sang, ‘We don’t need another hero.’
“For us in Benue, it is unacceptable for a leader to admit that he cannot protect the sovereignty of his country from invaders from neighbouring countries because he doesn’t know the difference between the invaders and their local accomplices? Why do we have an immigration service if our borders cannot be secured?”
Benue people vindicated
On his part, President of the Benue Youth Forum, BYF, Comrade Terrence Kuanum, says the comment of the President was a vindication of the government and people of Benue on their decision to enact its gazing law and also quit the APC.
Kuanum says, “The comment by President Buhari has confirmed that he has no idea of the solution to the crisis rather he prefers to emphasize the duration of the crisis as superseding the solution. This is astonishing to us as a people.
“We agree with Mr President that the age-long crisis is older than both he and the governor. But we are aware that several herdsmen groups have stated openly that the crisis in Benue and some other states was a continuation of the 1804 Jihad which is aimed at the conquest of the Benue Valley and other fertile lands in Nigeria.
“And on January 1, 2018, the Miyetti Allah groups carried out their threats in the most brutal manner ever experienced in our land and they openly claimed responsibility for the genocidal attacks and no arrests were made.
“But Ortom always throws the challenge that anyone with a better option to the law should bring it to the table. Obviously, the opening up of grazing cattle routes carved long ago when the country had a smaller population cannot be the solution to the crisis”.