By Peter Duru
Makurdi- Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has disclosed that the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is a sincere advocate of ranching as solution to the lingering herders crisis in the country.
The Governor who spoke Thursday at his reelection campaign rally in Katsina/Ala also stated that the former Vice President was not a religious fundamentalist.
He reiterated his appeal to the electorate in the state to vote massively for Atiku who was on the same page with the people of the state and all PDP candidates in the forthcoming election.
He observed that while President Muhammadu Buhari was canvassing for the opening up of cattle routes which would impact negatively on the land of the people of the state if implemented, Alhaji Atiku had been establishing ranches for his cattle and even proceeded to build feed-mills.
He said, “ranching is critical to the survival of our state because it remains the best solution to the incessant crises between farmers and herders with monumental loss of human lives and property over the years hence we must vote against those who opposed it.
“Besides Atiku has a long standing relationship with the Benue people who conferred a chieftaincy title on him years back and he also believes in the corporate existence of Nigeria.”
Addressing the gathering, former Governor and Benue North East Senatorial candidate, Gabriel Suswam, also called on the people to reelect Governor Ortom for what he described as his uncommon demonstration of courage for the protection of their interest.
The former Governor stated that it was rare for a governor to defect from the ruling party and pitch tent with the opposition adding that such a move to stand with the people when it mattered most should be rewarded with a renewed mandate.