Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state has accused the Presidency of shutting him out of the Statehouse, Abuja and preventing him from seeing President Muhammadu Buhari, because of criticizing his administration.
Ortom, who spoke after signing the reviewed controversial anti-open grazing, ranching and prohibition Law 2017 of the state, said the country was suffering from bad governance, because of intolerance of advice by the presidency.
“There is a problem and this has led to the failure of the Buhari government ab initio. They are just playing tricks with Nigerians, particularly, Benue State, where we are not feeling the impact of the presidency and I have been rebuked for trying to advise the president, including shutting me out of the presidential villa,” he said.
While calling on the president to undertake policies that would bring economic gains to the people, Ortom further described the recent launch of the presidential rice pyramid as the greatest deceit by the president.
On the review of the grazing law, the governor, who signed the amended law, noted that there was a lacuna in the law that needed to be addressed, adding that the review was done to meet the dynamics of the times, noting that other states, that embraced the law after Benue, had imposed stiffer penalties.
His words: “We thought the bandits will respect the law of the land. We gave a moderate charge of 2,000 for any cattle impounded. A cow is sold for over 200,000. We discovered that the charges for other states are higher up to 70,000, because the policy is dynamic.
“We have decided to revise the charges for cows impounded in Benue State. Henceforth, if any cow is impounded, the owner will pay the sum of 50,000 instead of 2000.
“An additional 20,000 will be paid on a daily basis and if the cows are not taken away from the quarantine center after 7 days, they will be auctioned. All these we are doing to tell anyone involved in open grazing that it is wrong,” Ortom said.