By Emmanuel Elijah, Makurdi
The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission “EFCC”, to probe those in connection with the funds allocated for the establishment of RUGA settlements in Nigeria, particularly Benue State.
Governor Ortom who made the call on Monday, when leadership of the Tiv Socio-cultural group, ‘Mzough U Tiv’ paid him a courtesy call at the Benue People’s House Makurdi, said since the planned establishment RUGA settlement has failed, there was the need for the EFCC to carry out investigations in order to know what happened to the funds.
He said because all the plans by the Buhari administration to allow the Fulani’s graze their cattle openly hit the rocks, they have taken another dimension by sponsoring the Water Resources bill that if passed into law, would enable the Federal Government take over rivers and other areas relating to the rivers and hand them over to the herdsmen to openly graze their cows and called on Nigerians particularly members of the National Assembly, to reject the bill in its entirety.
According to him, “the eight Assembly had rejected the bill but because the Buhari government is bent on satisfying his kinsmen to openly graze in the country, he had to resend it.” “I am calling on Nigerians to overwhelmingly vote against the bill,” he said.
Reacting to the Tiv /Jukun crises in Taraba State, Ortom maintained that, “I can not in any way support any Tiv man or community to fight against any ethnic group in the country, especially the Jukuns who are good friends of the Tiv people. Fighting each other is meaningless rather, it brings backwardness and poverty, I hereby appeal to the Tiv /Jukun people to tow the path of dialogue to end the hostilities in Taraba and its boarders for greater development to thrive”.
Governor commended the Mzough U Tiv, the Idoma, the Igede and other ethnic groups for their support for his administration especially the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law, assuring them of good governance and appealed to them to fight against illegal revenue collection in the state.
Earlier in his address, President General of the Mzough U Tiv, Mr Iorbee Ihagh assured the governor of their support to his administration to succeed, stating that they will team up with the Afenifere, the Ohaneze Ndi Igbo, the Niger Delta and other groups and work tirelessly to ensure that the bill did not see the light of the day.
Mr Ihagh commended Governor Ortom for his developmental strides particularly in the areas of road construction, agriculture, health, protection of lives and property and other sectors of the economy as well as the construction of a befitting palace for the Tor Tiv.