Estimated Reading Time: 2
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has described the Federal Government’s approval of N6.25 billion ranching fund to the Katsina State government as the height of deceit and hypocrisy.
The Katsina state government on Thursday received the approval of N6.5 billion from President Muhammadu Buhari to begin the development of cattle ranches in the state.
Reacting to the payment, Mr Ortom who spoke at the Makurdi airport said it was wrong for the government to pay for ranching in his home state also campaigning for grazing routes across the country.
He further said that the Federal Government should apologise to Benue State as well as release N100 billion for the state to establish its own ranches.
“So Mr. President approved N6.5 billion for ranching in Katsina State. What kind of hypocrisy is this? Are we a serious country at all?,” Ortom said.
“If the President would say that the Attorney-General of the Federation should ensure the relocation of those who have encroached on cattle routes and grazing areas to do open grazing despite the surge in the population from less than 40 million in 1950 to the over 200 million people today.
“And the same President is encouraging ranching in Katsina State where he comes from, that is certainly laughable and very hypocritical and deceitful.
“We need an explanation because it is a shame. Since 2017 we have been for ranching and of course you recall that the Governor of Katsina State did say that it is unIslamic for anybody to talk about open grazing.
“The prohibition of open grazing is the only thing that will help this country, including the provision for ranching.
“So if the President has approved N6.5 billion for Katsina State, they should also approve N100 billion for Benue State with an apology to me.
“It is not right for the Federal Government to approve money for ranching in a state and leave others out.
“And in fact the governor of the state, in his remark, said N5 billion had already been remitted to their coffers. So I begin to wonder, where are we headed?”
The Governor who had been critical of the Buhari-led administration over the insecurity crisis in his state again berated the APC-led government for the insecurity and economic problems facing the country.