PDP steals APC’s thunder with response to Benue herders, farmers’ crisis
The Peoples Democratic Party in a master stroke on Thursday gave a master stroke as Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose visited Benue State, being the second PDP governor on a show of solidarity with mouth-watering gestures to the APC-controlled state.
Todaysecho had previously reported that Nigerians from all divides have chided the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for not taking more visible steps at calming tensions that were sparked by killings in Benue.
Fayose, who was received by Ortom on Thursday, donated N10 million for the upkeep of the displaced people just as his Rivers state counterpart Nyesom Wike gave N200 million.
Both governors declared support for the Anti-Grazing Law enacted by the state government in 2017.
Fayose warned that the law “must not be compromised’’.
The Ekiti Governor said there was a federal conspiracy against the law and criticized the Federal Government and security agencies for poorly handling threats to the state prior to the New Year’s Day attack which left 73 indigenes of the state dead.
Governor of Rivers State, Mr Nyesom Wike, had earlier visited Benue and donated N200m to the state government.
Fayose advised Benue people to rally round Ortom, in defending the law enacted to end lingering skirmishes between farmers and herdsmen in the state.
He said the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, vested in the state the powers to enact laws for the administration of their states and said such rights were supreme.
” Nobody can take such powers away from you, they are constitutional; stand by your law, the law is for your state and not for the federal government.”
He likened the Jan.1 attacks on some communities in the state to terrorism and called on the people to stand together to defeat terror from the land.
” No terrorism is worse than what happened in your state, I therefore, call on the federal government to rise up to its responsibility of providing security to lives and property.
” The federal government should stop this double standard game; terrorism is evil and should be roundly condemned.”
Fayose, who was the first governor in the country to enact and implement the anti-open grazing law, said he implementation was not without challenges.
He said as a sitting governor, which ever political party the governor was considering joining, would still give him the right of first refusal in his bid to contest.
Responding, Ortom commended his Ekiti counterpart for the visit and said it was a gesture of friendliness.
He said the Benue killings marked a paradigm shift in the politics of the country, disclosing that the political affiliations would never remain the same again.
Ortom said the killings were an eye opener for him, explaining that he would continue to fight against injustice in the country regardless of intimidation.
He called on the federal government to arrest those behind the Benue massacre.
He said the state was not ready to cede its lands for grazing and advised the I-G to resign his appointment since he was no longer an unbiased umpire.
The governor said the state was overwhelmed by the humanitarian crises from the attack.
” We have an internally displaced population of about 100,000 people with about 7000 coming from the refugee crises in Cameroon.”
He commended the National Assembly for rejecting the ” one-sided report from the I-G and said the world was watching the events in Benue.
Wike of Rivers on Wednesday donated N200 million to Benue Government for the upkeep of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the state.
Wike made the donation when he led other stakeholders in Rivers on a condolence visit to Ortom in Makurdi.
He noted that the challenge of taking care of the IDPs was huge, adding that the donation was meant to cushion suffering of the displaced persons.
He said that he identifies with the pains of benue people as many women had become widows and children turned to orphans, adding that he would continue to render support to displaced persons in the country.
He urged the people to rally round Ortom, to enable him to tackle the security challenge posed by herdsmen in the state.
He said that all hands must be on deck in order to successfully overcome the insecurity challenge in the country.
The opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) commended the two governors for their political manoeuvring through the visit to Benue.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement issued on Thursday in Abuja commended the two governors for extending assistance to victims of the recent violent attacks and other Internally Displaced Persons in the state.
Ologbondiyan said that the gesture by the two governors underlines PDP’s commitment to the well-being of all Nigerians in line with its undying ideology and vision of its founding fathers.
He added that gesture was commendable because the assistance was for a state under the governorship of All Progressives Congress (APC).
Ologbondiyan however said that it was disheartening that the Presidency was yet to visit Benue, adding that APC Governors only visited, after much entreaties.
Ologbondiyan urged the people of Benue state to be vigilant and continue to work with their leaders, while assuring of PDP’s support always.