Ortom backs Southern govs over anti-open grazing law, rotational presidency
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has described the decision of Southern Governors Forum to enact laws to ban open grazing of livestock in the region as a bold and patriotic move that will bring to an end the lingering crisis caused by armed herdsmen.
He also backed the Southern governors for their position on rotational Presidency between the North and South, beginning from 2023.
The Benue governor stated these in a Tuesday statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase.
Recall that the Southern governors met in Lagos on Monday.
In a communique read by Chairman of the forum, Rotimi Akeredolu after the meeting, the governors gave a September 1 deadline for each state in the region to enact laws to outlaw open grazing.
The governors equally demanded that President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor in 2023 come from the South.
Akase’s statement quoted Ortom as lauding his “counterparts in Southern Nigeria for backing their May 11 Asaba declaration against open grazing with the resolve to legally prohibit nomadic cattle rearing; a resolution which conforms with the global best practice of animal husbandry.”
“He also commends the Southern Governors Forum for their position on rotation of the Presidency between the north and south, beginning from 2023.
“Governor Ortom believes that only equity, fairness and justice can strengthen the unity of Nigeria, give all citizens a sense of belonging and reduce tensions across the country.
“The Governor re-echoes his call on the Federal Government to respect the 1999 Constitution (as amended) regarding fundamental human rights, the rule of law and federal character.
“He restates his commitment to speaking out against injustice and quotes Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr who stated that ‘our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.’
“Governor Ortom reaffirms his belief in Nigeria’s unity and expresses optimism that the country will overcome its current challenges and emerge stronger as a great nation,” Akase’s statement read.