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Why I established ranching law in Benue – Gov. Ortom opens up

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Why I established ranching law in Benue - Gov. Ortom opens up

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Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue State has said that the Ranching Law passed in Benue was not targeted at anybody or group but to ensure peace between farmers and herdsmen.

Ortom said this in Nsukka on Tuesday while delivering the Prof. Miriam Ikejiani-Clark First Memorial Lecture, titled “The State and Management of Farmers /Herdsmen Conflict in Nigeria: Lessons from the Benue Valley”.

He said the ranching law provided protection for both farmers and herdsmen. “The ranching law that prohibits herdsmen from open grazing, so as not to destroy the crops of farmers, the same law approved sanctions for cattle rustlers, who will try to rustle cattle where they are kept.

“As there are dos and don’ts for herdsmen, there are also dos and don’ts for farmers, this is to ensure cordial relationship between farmers and herdsmen,” he said.

He said if countries that have more cattle like India, Brazil, China, U.S and Argentina could practice ranching, why not Nigeria with less than 20 million cattle.

“India has 343 million cattle, Brazil 226 million cattle , China 100 million cattle and U.S 93 million cattle and Argentina 53 million cattle.

“It will be hard for one to believe that Nigeria with less than 20 million cattle find it difficult to practice ranching,” he said.

The Governor said that it was gross ignorance of the law for anyone to insinuate that the law protects only the farmers.

“I urged the 9th National Assembly to pass National Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Bills, so as to end clashes between farmers and herders in the country.

“Open cattle routes of the 1950s will no longer work because on such routes, hospitals, airports, university campuses and companies have been built.

“I am happy, those who think that the problem of herdsmen is only that of the Benue Valley and Middle-Belt states are today having the bitter pill of herdsmen in their various states,” he said.

Ortom said if nothing urgent was done over herdsmen clashes with farmers very soon, it would become a national social and economic problem too difficult to contain.

In a remark, the Head of Department of Political Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Dr Ifeanyichukwu Abada, said the department decided to honour Prof. Ikejiani-Clark, who was a lecturer of the department because of her numerous contributions and legacies .

“We all gather here to honour an outstanding scholar and administrator, who left her foot prints in the sands of time.

“It’s unfortunate that most times the society celebrates charlatans, who are both morally and intellectually bankrupt.

“What we are doing today by instituting this memorial lecture for Ikejiani-Clark, is to change the narrative by recognising excellence and hard work, he said.

Abada said Ikejiani-Clark was heroine, who bestrode the academic and public space like a colossus.

“This memorial lecture will be a bi-annual event and will over time transform into an intellectual talk shop, where myriad of problems confronting Nigeria as a nation will be articulated.

He commended Ortom for accepting to deliver the lecture and for doing justice to the topic.

Earlier, Chief Nnia Nwodo, President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo said Ortom, was more qualified to deliver the topic of the lecture, given what the people of Benue experienced with herdsmen.

“I salute the courage of the Benue State governor, who stood with his people to enact the Ranching Law as the best option to stop constant killings of innocent people in the state by suspected herdsmen,” he said.

NAN reports that the lecture was attended by people from different walks of life.

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CATHOLIC WORLD

Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump – CAN fumes

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Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump - CAN fumes

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s revelation of his conversation with United States President, Donald Trump, on the massacre of Christians in Nigeria, saying President Buhari was economical with the truth.

President Buhari had on Tuesday, revealed that at the heat of the bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria, the United States President, Donald Trump, unequivocally accused him of killing Christians.

Buhari said these in his closing remarks at the two-day ministerial performance review retreat held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

At a point, the President digressed from his prepared speech and narrated his encounter with Trump on the bloody clashes.

He said he managed to explain to the American leader that the clashes were not about ethnicity or religion.

He said, “I believe I was about the only African among the less developed countries the President of United States invited.

“When I was in his office, only myself and himself, only God is my witness, he looked at me in the face, and asked, ‘Why are you killing Christians?’

“I wonder, if you were the person, how you will react. I hope what I was feeling inside did not betray my emotion, so I told him that the problem between the cattle rearers and farmers, I know is older than me not to talk of him. I think I am a couple of years older than him.

“With climate change and population growth and the culture of the cattle rearers, if you have 50 cows and they eat grass, any root, to your water point, then they will follow it. It doesn’t matter whose farm it is.

“The First Republic set of leadership was the most responsible leadership we ever had. I asked the Minister of Agriculture to get a gazette of the early 60s which delineated the cattle route where they used meager resources then to put earth dams, wind mills even sanitary department.

“So, any cattle rearers that allowed his cattle to go to somebody’s farm would be arrested, taken before the court. The farmer would be called to submit his bill and if he couldn’t pay, the cattle would be sold, but subsequent leaders, the VVIPs (very important persons) encroached on the cattle routes. They took over the cattle rearing areas.

“So, I tried and explained to him (Trump) that this has got nothing to do with ethnicity or religion. It is a cultural thing.”

However, CAN’s Vice President and Chairman of the association in Kaduna State, John Hayab, was not impressed with Buhari’s submission, saying “Buhari and his government will never stop from amusing us with their tales by moonlight because what is happening in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Birnin Gwari, Southern Kaduna, Taraba, Plateau and others cannot be described as a cultural thing.

He told Punch correspondent in an interview: “President Buhari’s weak story about his conversation with President Donald Trump further confirms why his government does not care about the killings in our country by calling them cultural things.

“Just this (Tuesday) evening, I received a report from the Kaduna Baptist Conference President about the number of their members that have been killed by bandits in Kaduna State from January 2020 to date to be 105 and our President will call it a cultural thing? All we can say is may God save our Nigeria.”

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NATIONAL NEWS

CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

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CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

The Catholic Bishop of Nsukka, Most Rev. Godfrey Onah, has blamed Christians in the National Assembly (NASS), for the passage of the 2020 Companies and Allied Matters Bill (CAMA), signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari recently.

Bishop Onah, said in a remark during the Sunday Mass that if Christians in NASS had opposed the bill, it would not have been passed into law.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Aug. 7, signed the CAMA bill into law, giving provision for religious bodies and charity organizations to be regulated by the registrar of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and a supervising minister.

“The question many Christians have been asking is, where were Christian legislators during the debate of this bill and its passage in the National Assembly?

“Because, if they had opposed this bill on the floor of the house, it would not have been passed and sent to the president for assent.

“I blame Christian legislators for doing nothing and allowing the passage of the 2020 CAMA Act,” he said.

“When I say that Christians are too divided and too selfish, don’t forget that the second in command in this country is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a professor of Law and a pastor.”

Onah, however, wondered what the Federal Government wanted to achieve in monitoring how the finances of churches in the country are managed when it contributed no dime to the church, NAN reports.

“Government should focus and monitor its ministries, agencies and other government institutions where it budgets billions of Naira annually and not church offerings.

“Had it been that the government gave allocations to churches and decided to monitor its usage, nobody will question the government,” he said.

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NATIONAL NEWS

Nigerians spit fire over fuel, electricity prices hike

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Increasing Fuel and Electricity Prices

Anger and condemnations, across the country, have continued to trail last week’s take off, of new increases in pump price of petroleum products and electricity tariffs, as directed by Federal Government.

Recall that the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) official, D.O. Abalaka announced on Wednesday September 3, on behalf of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that the new price of petroleum is now N151.56k per litre instead of N149 – N150 per litre which it was previously.

The new electricity tariff which the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) tagged “Service Reflective Tariff” has also come into effect. It requires consumers to pay N53.87 – N66.422 per kwh of electricity.

Outraged consumers of fuel and electricity have therefore warned government to get ready for collision with the masses if it fails to rescind these new prices.

Those who have expressed outrage over the new prices regimes include, the Organized Labour, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Nigerian main opposition political party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).

Others are: Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce (NACCIMA).

The NLC said, “The frequent fuel price increase will no longer be accepted. We will not allow Nigerians fall victim of government ineptitude and negligence to make the country self-sufficient in terms of refining petroleum products at home.”

On its part, the PDP has described the price hike as “callous, cruel and punishing” and demanded an immediate reversal to avert a national crisis.

The All Industrial Global sees the incessant increase as a confirmation that deregulation means just price increase.

“This is unacceptable! Under a pandemic, we should put money in the pockets of citizens to revive collapsed livelihoods and preserve lives.” In its reaction, NECA said it has always urged Federal Government to adopt deregulation policy in the oil and gas downstream sector.

The MOMAN in its statement insists that monthly price variation of fuel was no longer sustainable. It urged PPRA to adopt quarterly price mechanism which would save the market the hassles of price volatility. The statements by IPMAN and NACCIMA also followed along the same line that the hike “…serves only to increase the severity and duration of the looming economic recession.”

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