From: Uche Nnorom, Makurdi
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has frowned at the deliberate refusal of the Federal government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to release the last tranche of bailout funds to the State.
The Governor who made the lamentation while hosting the new leadership and members of the Correspondents’ Chapel yesterday at Government House, Makurdi, said he vigorously pursued for the release of the funds to no avail.
He questioned why his counterpart from Kogi State has been paid his complete bailout fund while he is yet to get the State balance of 42 billion naira.
“At the inception of my administration, I received the sum of 28 billion naira with an expected balance of 42 billion naira. Uptil now, I have pursued the balance all to no avail. Yet the Governor of Kogi State Yahaya Bello has been given his balance. Is it not from the same CBN? Ortom questioned,maintaining that if the fund is released, it will definitely go a long way to enable him offset arrears of pension and workers salary.
He boasted that no administration in the State has enacted laws for good governance particularly the anti-open grazing law,averring that posterity will celebrate him one day for enacting the law which remains the best animal husbandry practice.
“Just like June 12 was rejected and later accepted, the same way, our anti-open grazing law will one day be accepted in this country as the best way for animal husbandry. I don’t see us surviving open grazing in Nigeria because we are not in an animal kingdom.”
Ortom posited that the country cannot survive the current practice of nomadic rearing of animals for long.
He noted that because he stood his ground on the enactment of the open grazing prohibition and ranches law despite oppositions from many quarters, Benue has now become a model for other states to follow in that regard.
“On the issue of open grazing, we have now become a model because I think that this is the best approach to end the farmer, herders clash.”
The Governor recalled that because of the anti open grazing law, the Miyetti Allah took him to court severally but that he defeated them because he has always stood for the truth.
While reiterating his support for the EndSars protest, the Governor however, called on the genuine protesters to put an end to the protest as it had been hijacked by hoodlums.
“I believe in the unity of Nigeria and that was why I supported EndSars protest because everywhere they (protesters) went, they held the Nigerian flag and sang songs of unity.