Benue Anti-grazing Law: Herdsmen to Move 10 Million Cows to Nasarawa

Following the enactment of the anti-grazing bill by Samuel Ortom-led Benue State Government, about 10 million cows owned by members of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN )will have to be moved from Benue to the neighbouring Nasarrawa State, Awe Local Government.

According to the Chairman of the association, the association was collaborating with the Nigerian Army, the police and other relevant stakeholders in Nasarawa State to forestall any breakdown of law and order.

Chiding Governor Ortom for not finding alternative means of grazing for herdsmen before enacting the anti-grazing bill the MACBAN Chairman reportedly told journalist that, “Our major problem is fear of our cows, particularly since farmers have yet to harvest their crops from their farms.

“We are in difficult situation. We are trying our best to ensure that peace reigns between us and the host community in Awe.”

A farmer in Awe, Abigail Bitraus , said she had to quickly rush to her farm to harvest her rice when she heard about the cattle being moved in by the herdsmen; even though, it was not the appropriate time to do so.

She said, “The large number of Fulani herdsmen and their cows scare me. When I learnt that they were relocating from Benue State to Nasarawa State, I had to rush to my farm to harvest my rice.”

Whereas, Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State said he had already set up a committee in all the local government areas adjoining Benue State to monitor the movement and the migration of the Fulani herdsmen, warning that the destruction of farmlands and attacks on homes would not be tolerated.

JUST IN: Gov. Ortom Declares Prohibition Of Open Grazing In Benue

Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, has announced prohibition of open grazing in the state.

The governor made this declaration in a broadcast aired Wednesday morning in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, to mark the commencement of the implementation of the Anti-Open Grazing Law.

The governor called on everyone residing in Benue State, who is into cattle or livestock business to abide by the new law.

His speech reads in full:

Fellow Nigerians and Benue citizens.

Today, first November 2017, marks the beginning of the prohibition of open grazing in Benue State. I call on all citizens residing in Benue State who is into cattle or livestock business to abide by this law.

There is no more open grazing in Benue State. All those who are interested in doing livestock business must ranch their livestock, otherwise, the law will catch up with them. Let me appeal to all citizens to be law abiding.

No one should take laws into his hands. We have put in place adequate machinery to enforce the law.

Where there are trespasses or infringements of the law, report to the appropriate quarters and it will be duly handled by the team put in place. I want to appeal to all of us to be law abiding.

The law seeks to protect farmers and herdsmen alike. The law seeks to ensure peace for all citizens. The law is not targeted at any individual or group of people or any ethnic group.

All of us must team together and work to ensure the success of this law.

We have suffered hardship, we have suffered pains, we have suffered sorrow. We have lost so much from both sides and we cannot allow this to continue as leaders with the responsibility of providing security for lives and property.

I want all citizens to join hands with Government to ensure that we adopt this method of ranching which is the global best practice for all those in livestock business all over the world.

 

 

Source: My Nation

2face And Anine Idibia Gives Out Relief Material To Benue Flood Victims

The celebrity couple 2face and Annie idibia on Tuesday traveled to Makurdi, where the flood incidence has occurred to show his concern as he is an indigene of the state.

2face also pledged 60% of his music proceeds to helping about 110000 people who have been affected by the recent floods in Benue as he arrived the camp with trucks filled with various relief materials such as noodles, rice, yams, water, amongst others.

He also hinted at holding a big concert to raise more money and materials to help the victims. Wife of the governor of Benue state, Mrs Eunice Ortom, thanked the couple for their donations, saying that she was proud of all the humanitarian effort he has been putting up around the world.

The Benue flood has affected over 46,000 homes and has made over 110,000 people internally displaced. The IDP camp, built in an international market downtown Makurdi, has been the shelter of the people since the flood.

 

 

Benue Workers Begin Warning Strike Over Unpaid Salaries

Benue State workers on Tuesday embarked on a 7-day warning strike over the non-payment of salaries and allowances.

It was observed that they were all locked as the workers complied with the directive by the Nigerian Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress to stay away from offices.

Observation showed that usually busy routes leading to most offices were quiet.

At the State Secretariat in High-level area, Makurdi we met only security personnel behind the locked gates.

At the Secretary to the State Government’s Office along JS Tarkaa way, only a few casual staff were sighted loitering around.

Other offices visited included the Benue State Environmental and Sanitation Agency, Benue State Water Board and the Urban Development Board.

Mrs. Rita Mnguzamber a civil servant, told reporters that the strike was long overdue.

“We have been very patient with this government. The governor was voted in because he promised to make workers’ welfare his priority.

“He promised to settle arrears of salaries and pensions, but since he assumed office, it has been one excuse after another. We are just tired,” he said.

A political Analyst, Mr Johnson Terhide, said that the workers’ action was in order.

“Prompt payment of salaries and pensions should not be toyed with by any government. Workers cannot be expected to serve an irresponsible government that has no regard for their welfare,” he said.

He said that the current administration was voted in because Gov. Samuel Ortom accused his predecessor of not being worthy to serve because they were not paying salaries, allowances and pensions.

“Unfortunately, his government is even worse. The workers have resolved that no one will take them for granted and I feel this is in order,” he said.

Terhide urged government to meet up the demands of the workers to make for effective governance.

Mr Paul Egye, an economist, said that the non-payment of salaries had affected the Benue economy.

“Benue is an agrarian state; lots of farm produce are wasting away due to lack of money to buy them.

“People cannot pay school fees. May cannot pay rent. A lot of things are at a standstill. We cannot continue like that,” he said.

The strike, the first to be declared by labour since Ortom became governor in 2015, followed a communique jointly signed by the NLC Chairman, Mr Godwin Anya and his TUC counterpart, Mr Ordue Tartenger.

The duo had rejected Ortom’s appeal to shelve the action and wait for better days when the economy would improve.

“His appeal is predicated on the prevailing economic situation, but the state has not stopped receiving statutory allocations from the federation account. This is besides Internally Generated Revenue and other revenue receipts from the federal government.

“He (Ortom) appealed for understanding without any offer; he is mute about supplementary support from the Federal Government such as bailout and stabilization funds, Paris Club refunds, among others,” the communique said.

The unions advised the government to implement the state of emergency it declared on payment of salaries, gratuities and pensions.

Reacting, Special Adviser to Ortom on Media and ICT, Mr Tahav Agerzua, said that the governor had placed all the cards on the table before the labour leaders.

He opined that the strike was not the solution because it would not bring the money needed to pay the salaries and arrears being demanded.

Report shows that the Benue workers are owed nine months salaries, with Ortom saying that N40 billion was required to settle them.

Flooding: Its Time Buhari Takes A Cue From Trump

By Oluwaseun Bisuga 

Many things have been said of President Donald Trump of the US and most of them are rightly so but when it comes to the flooding in Houston and Texas, loquacious Trump deserves some credit.

Even if he is doing it for the camera, he has scored some points in my books.

First he visited Texas and victims of the flood then he seconded Vice President Mike Pence to oversee recovery following the havoc wrecked by Hurricane Harvey.

Hours ago, he donated $1million of his own funds to help victims who are in dire need of clothes, food and shelter. And he is demanding that the Congress approves $5.9billion emergency flood funds.

Now that’s a president who understands that every American life matters.

Even by Trump’s standard that is an enviable achievement. If you ask me, I never thought I would have to ask anyone to take a cue from Trump until this happened.

For Americans, what he has done might not be a big deal but for Nigerians it should be because Benue State is being ravaged by flood and the President does not seem to be tackling it proactively.

For starters, I would understand if President Buhari cannot travel to Makurdi in Benue State like Trump did for two reasons.

First, because of his health. He only just returned from London after a medical vacation and might still be recovering and secondly because he is a Muslim. He is expected to celebrate Eid with his family and friends.

But what is the excuse for not sending Vice President Osinbajo? What is the excuse for not sending one of his ministers or aides?

At this point, Makurdi flooding should be the most important topic on the minds of Nigerian leaders.

We all are sitting pretty in our very dry apartments and relishing the thought of eating and drinking this Sallah while fellow citizens are gasping for breath in Makurdi.

We are sleeping pretty in our duvets and watching the television while there are some citizens do not have electronic appliances anymore due to flood.

They also do not have homes, clothes, food and many more. They’ve lost all what took them many years to build while the people they voted for are killing rams and cows while watching them suffer on television.

This is simply unacceptable. Like Trump, Buhari should immediately demand emergency flood funds and get to work.

Issuing a statement that the President has directed “National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to immediately mobilize personnel and resources to come to the aid of the victims of the flooding” shows that the President does not place a premium on Nigerian lives like he should.

He should not talk the walk, he should walk the walk.

Nigerians need some action here.

The visuals from Makurdi should send some chill down the spine of anyone who have got any human feelings.

If the President wants to earn the respect of Nigerians, he should call on some senior members of his team and order them to report to Makurdi.

Everything doesn’t have to be politicized. In Houston and Texas, we saw how US lawmakers reacted but in Nigeria they are no-show except for a handful that has mentioned it.

The message is that we trivialize Nigerian lives and this has to stop if we want to earn the respect of the outside world.

I think the President should immediately get to work now.

Let’s take a second and think about this. That could have been you trying to navigate through the flood and watching your world nosedive before your eyes.

It could be your family members, business or property in that flood right.

I hope this government gets to work and save Nigerians in that flood.

Taking a cue from African Americans, I say, Nigerian Lives Matter!!!

Oluwaseun Bisuga is journalist, social media analyst and writer

Twitter: @bisuclef

 

Buhari On Benue Flood, Orders Immediate Support For Over 100,000 Victims

President Muhammadu Buhari has spoken on the flood in Benue State that has displaced about 100,000 people, according to official estimates.

In a statement on Friday, presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, said Mr. Buhari “has received with great concern reports of the flooding in Benue State, which, according to early estimates, has affected thousands of homes and displaced more than 100,000 persons in 12 local government areas.”

“Consequently, the president has directed the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to immediately mobilise personnel and resources to come to the aid of the victims of the flooding.

The president is closely monitoring the situation, and will be receiving regular updates on the scale of the disaster, as well as the federal government’s humanitarian response.

“The president extends his sympathies to the government and people of Benue State, and assures that the federal government will make available any assistance needed to enable the state government and the affected communities cope with and surmount the impact of the flooding,” Mr. Shehu said.

Speaking on the flood, Mr. Ortese told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Makurdi that places affected included Achusa, Idye, Wurukum Market, Genabe, Industrial Layout, Demekpe, Wadata Market, Katungu, behind the Civil Service Commission, Agboughul-Wadata among others.

“In Achusa, 200 houses were affected with 5,125 persons displaced. In Idye 217 houses were affected while 5,200 persons were displaced.

“Also, behind the Civil Service Commission 200 houses were submerged in flood and 5,777 persons were displaced,” he said.

Benue is not among the states the fedearl government announced would receive N1.6 billion each to mitigate the impact of floods in their state. The directive to give the money to the 16 states was given by the then acting president, Yemi Osinbajo, in July.

Officials in beneficiary states such as Plateau, however, say they are yet to receive the money, which was supposed to be taken from the Ecological Fund and disbursed through the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, to the affected states.

Officials in Benue, however, say the state should be included among the beneficiaries due to is experience with flood this year.

Ortom Begs Labour Over Strike Ultimatum

Barely two days to the ultimatum given to the Benue State Government by the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress Benue State chapter, to clear the Backlogs of salaries owed workers or faced industrial action, governor Samuel Ortom yesterday appealed to Labour not to embark on strike but still give him little time.

Ortom who spoke with newsmen shortly after a meeting with labour leaders at the new banquet hall , government house, Makurdi explained that his administration is working hard towards addressing the problem of salary arrears.

The governor explained that since 2015, the state has been having short fall in federal allocation the situation, he said had affected the running of government.

He promised that his government will not rest on its oars to explore necessary avenues to raise money  to settle all the arrears of salaries and pension allowances.

“Since we came into office, we have been having short fall in monthly federal allocation and as a result of this, we declared state of emergency on salary payment, we are making moved to get funds to settle the salary arrears.”

“Part of the efforts is the on going modified table payment been headed by the deputy governor and we are sure that at the end of the screening exercise we will get it right, because already we have recover over N500million from the screening exercise”.

The state chairman  Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Godwin Anya also told newsmen that, the state governor enumerated  his challenges to labour leaders but we will first of all meet with the union state executives where decision would be taken whether to embark on strike or not.

it could be recalled that the state chapter of Nigeria Labor Congress, NLC, on August 4th, 2016  gave the state up to August ending to clear the backlogs of salary arrears owed state workers or face industrial action.

This was Part of the communique issued at the end of the meeting.

“SEC in session exhaustively deliberated on the issue regarding members welfare, most especially the non payment of salary arrears, pensions and gratuity, as well as the prompt payment of same by the Benue State Government.

The salary situation has brought untold hardship on our members, leading to inability of workers and pensioners, to meet their obligations like food, payment of children’s school fees, settlement of medical bills and even death of some members.”

the State Government should conclude all the ongoing screening exercise on or before 31st August, 2017, and clear all outstanding arrears of salaries, pensions and gratuity; “Pay salaries, pensions and gratuity as at when due”  adding that failure  to meet the demands, the Organized Labour will be forced to embark on an indefinite strike”

Flood Renders Thousands Homeless In Makurdi

All through the year, floods have rendered thousands dead, homeless and missing all over the world. Sierra Leone is still in state of mourning their over 500 citizens killed from flood and mud slides in the Country. Yesterday the heavy downpour that lasted for house caused a major flood in makurdi the Benue State capital, which left hundreds of settlements, houses and markets submerged.

The downpour, which started around 12midnight, lasted for more than four hours. Some of the areas worst hit by the development include Idye village along Zone 4, police headquarters, Radio Benue settlement, Pleasure Travels Coy Limited, Wurukum Market, Wadata Rice Mill area, Gyado Villa on Gboko road, Welfare Quarters, Benue State University community, New Kanshio village, among others.

According to reports the transmitter of the state’s radio station was submerged in water. At Wurukum market and Pleasure Travel garage, the situation was not different, as shop owners were seen helplessly trying to push water out of their apartments to no avail. It was the same development at Wadata rice mill, where rice stored in many shops, were seen soaked and floating on water. At Idye village, almost the entire community was submerged into the flood.

Recall that On July 21, the people of Akpehe near Makurdi confirmed flash flooding, with the growing water level from River Benue, the biggest reason to flooding in Benue.

 

Killers Of My Aide Will Never Go Unpunished – Ortom

The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom has said he will not rest until those who masterminded the assassination of his aide are brought to book.

Ortom who insisted that he will ensure the killers go unpunished, described the ugly incident as not just sad but a deliberate ploy to destabilise his administration.

It would be recalled that Dr. Tavershima Adyorough, who is a Principal Special Assistant to the governor on Knowledge Economy and Investment was shot dead in the early hours of Sunday by unknown gunmen.

However, returning from China during a vacation to inspect industrial equipment, Ortom while fielding questions from newsmen in Abuja said the killing of his aide is a dastardly act, that must be investigated with a view to unraveling the killers.

“My aide was killed, I feel so sad. While I was away, I received the sad news about the brutal assassination of my personal aide, someone who is very close to me, Dr. Tavershima Adyorough. He worked with me while I served as the Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He was my assistant and I found him worthy when I won election.

“He is someone who was knowledgeable and well learned and for him to have been assassinated at this time in the history of state and country where we need people with broad knowledge to support us to succeed in our hard times, I feel very sad and this is something I am not going to take lightly, I have already spoken with security agencies; they should fish out the killers because this cannot be allowed to continue,” Ortom stated.

On his industrialisation trip to China, Ortom explained that the journey was a huge success. “The principal reason I went there was to interact with Chairman Wu; Wu is the core investor to Ngamale Cement factory in Benue State. We inherited the project, it started around 2004 during Senator George Akume’s tenure, it continued during Suswam and when I came in I discovered it was a very viable project and we have done everything needed on the part of government to ensure that this project takes off but unfortunately, there has been delay from the core investor on the shipping of the equipment. “

Benue Gov’s Aide Killed In Makurdi

Gunmen on Sunday broke into the residence of the Principal Special Assistant on Knowledge Economy and Investments to Benue State Governor, Dr Tavershima Adyorororough, and killed him.

According to sources, the unknown gunmen, around 12:30 a.m., on Sunday stormed his residence at Nyinma layout in Makurdi, Benue State capital where they shot at the man and his wife.

The deceased and family were said to have retired to bed when the assailants invaded the house and shot him dead while his wife was rushed to an undisclosed hospital where she is receiving treatment.

The state governor, Samuel Ortom has demanded the arrest and prosecution of the killer of his aide.

In a press statement issued and signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Terver Akase, on Sunday, Benue government confirmed that Dr Adyororough was shot and killed by gunmen who invaded his residence.

Governor Ortom described the killing as unacceptable and condemnable, requesting security agencies to swing into action immediately so as to arrest those responsible for the dastardly act.

He described the deceased as a competent and dependable aide who delivered on assignments with dedication and honesty.

He sympathized with the immediate family of the deceased, the government and people of the state on the loss and pledges that he would support security agencies in apprehending the culprits.

He urged those with useful information that can lead to the arrest to make same available.

It will be recalled that the Senior Special Assistant to the governor on security matters was gruesomely murdered in 2016 at his residence along Mobile Barracks, Makurdi.

Efforts to get the reaction of police are not successful as Benue command Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Moses Yamu did not pick the call put across to his line.

Illegal Firearms Factory Uncovered In Benue

The Benue State Police Command uncovered an illegal firearms factory at Tse-Tyungu, Kyado District of Ukum Local Government Area; arresting three suspects, with several finished and unfinished firearms recovered.

Parading the suspects and the recovered items shortly after flagging off the Show of Strength campaign, which comprise members of security agencies in the state, Benue state Police Commissioner, Bashir Makama, said the discovery was made following a tip-off. He said the prime suspect in the business, now at large, had been into the manufacturing of the weapons for long, which were being sold to buyers in the state and other parts of the country.

 

Explaining the circumstances that led to the discovery, the Commissioner said: “Following the arrest of one Felix at Assasi in North Bank area of Makurdi town on May 24, based on reliable information, the suspect confessed to being a distributor and had sold a locally-made Beretta pistol to one Bishop in Abuja for N40,000.

“During our investigation, the suspect led operatives to the arms factory at Tse-Tyungu, Kyado District, where several types of guns were being manufactured. “Two suspects, 25-year-old Tyowa and 18-year-old Aondoyavenga, were arrested at the plant. Items and exhibits recovered from the factory include one carbon cylinder, one gas cylinder, one Sumec generating set, one Dane gun, one fabricated Beretta pistol, one filing machine, one drilling machine, two saws, one tool box, one jute bag containing tools and a motorcycle.”