Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue, says there will be no campaign for the 2019 elections in the state if there is no solution to the clashes between herdsmen and farmers.
Speaking in an interview on The Osasu Show, the governor said he invited President Muhammadu Buhari to console the people of Benue over the killings and destruction of their property but the president did not honour the invitation.
He said as the president, Buhari is supposed to provide citizens of the country with security but has failed to take the required action to curb the killings.
“For now, my primary concern is to stop these killings; to ensure that the IDPs go back to their homes and live peacefully. Once that is done, we can talk about other things,” he said.
“I don’t care about what happens tomorrow. Even if I am not governor, I can stay back and fight for the right of my people.
“When we visited, we even invited the president to come to Benue state and pay his condolences to his people… Because we are members of the party, he is our president. If these people are attacking us, we expect him to give us security.
“He has done a number of things. He directed NEMA to provide relief materials, he also asked for security to be beefed up but I am not satisfied with what the presidency is doing on this matter. There is no doubt about that.
“I ask for justice for Benue people because we have not been treated fairly.”
Ortom said the attacks on Benue is an act of vengeance by heders for losing the 1804 Jihad. He said Benue people stopped them from penetrating the state through Sokoto.
He said though he did not know the level of “support the herders get from the presidency”, he is sure that the press statements by the Miyeti Allah Cattle Breeders Association are issued by “people living in Abuja”.
“These people have gone beyond grazing, it is about invading the land and taking over. All the places they have attacked, they have chased the people away and they are using their farmlands produce as feed for their cattle,” he said.
“They are conducting international conferences, issuing press releases and writing on social media and they have come out to say look, in 1804 Jihad, it was Benue people that stopped them from penetrating from Sokoto to the sea.
“And this time around, they are not going to stop. They will make sure that the mobilise all Fulani men across the globe, especially from the West African sub-region to ensure that they acquire arms and come and invade and take over the land.
“Because they also said that Nigeria is the only land that God has given them, so no other person will supervene on this land except them. That it is their own land, they got this land by conquest and we have no business staying on this land. It is unbelievable. The statement is coming from Miyetti Allah.
“Well, I wouldn’t know about their patrons or the extent of their involvement. But one thing I know is that the people that have been issuing these press conferences and statements are known. They are living in Abuja, they are living with the powers that be.”
Asked why he has not met with Sa’adu Abubakar, sultan of Sokoto and Lamido Sanusi, emir of Kano, to call the herders to order since the monarchs have associated with the herders, Ortom said it is the responsibility of the federal government to enforce the law.
“Why will I sit down with them? We have constituted authority over this country. And it is the responsibility of the federal government to enforce the law. We expected them to have acted,” he said.