President Muhammadu Buhari has said that one of the reasons Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom left the ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC) for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was because he could not stomach what he (Buhari) explained to him on the farmers/herders clashes in his state.
Buhari said that he explained to Ortom that the cattle rearers and settlers problem in Nigeria was older than himself (Buhari) not to talk of him (Ortom).
Buhari said “But those of you who are neighbours to cattle rearers, Nigerians cattle rearers use to carry only sticks and their machetes to cut foliage for the cattles. But these are cattle rearers with weapons like AK47.
“But the problem is that you can hardly identify the difference between cattle rearers from Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria Chad, Cameroon and other cattle herders. They look the same but I was accused of not doing anything about those operating locally but I took the governor on this and this is one of the reasons he left our party for another party.
“Because I told him the cattle rearers and settlers problem in Nigeria is older than myself not to talk of him and at first republic, there were cattle routes, they put infrastructures and even veterinary.
“But the so-called politicians because they are so much in a hurry to make money they acquire some of these lands and turned them into their private farms.
“So, if you are a cattle rearer or you know about cattle like myself, the herders now pass through anybody land to find water for their cattles to drink. I told Audu Ogbeh, the minister of agriculture to look at the Gazette of the first republic to get the cattle routes and get the grazing routes and re-establish them so that we can reduce this incidence. Some of you here know the efforts we are making.” he added.