Orogu’s Vituperation And The PDP Fallacy

BY RAYYANU BALA
The attempt by the Nasarawa state Chairman of the People’s Democratic
Party (PDP) Hon. Francis Orogu in his press conference last week to
give ethnic colorations to the proposed establishment of cattle
ranches in Nasarawa state by the state government, did not surprised
many political observers in the state as that narrative is always in
the stable of the PDP and their collaborators hell-bent to return to
power in 2019.
At the said press conference, Hon. Orogu said there is something evil
in the decision of the state government in concentrating grazing
reserves in Alago communities. His words “If grazing reserve is good
development, why didn’t Al-makura take it to his village? Why take it
to three Alago communities and others”
He continued “The locations chosen for the reserves are questionable
and not suitable due to on going farmers/herdsmen crisis in the state
Indeed, from the above quotes in Hon. Orogu’s press conference, we can
see clearly that he is only trying to invent certain sentiments with
the aim of pitting Alago nation against Al-makura’s Senate candidature
on one hand, and on the other hand, to depict the APC and President
Muhammadu Buhari in negative light before the good people of Nasarawa
South in particular and the good people of the state in general. From
the tone of Hon. Orogu’s text it was clear that the PDP in Nasarawa
state are not in support of establishment of cattle ranches in the
state.
The claim by Hon. Orugo in his press conference that he is not opposed
to establishment of cattle ranches in the state was just a hoax
designed to becloud people’s sense of judgment. When he tried to show
to the people of the state that Governor Al-makura cornered good
infrastructures to his (Almakura’s) Kwandere village leaving Alago
communities and others with cattle ranches, in effect he is telling
the people to revolt against the proposed cattle ranching in the
state.
A person with good knowledge of Northern Nigeria knows that it was not
Governor Al-makura who created and gazetted the grazing reserves in
Keana, Doma and Assakio. It was the colonial government that created
grazing reserves in Northern Nigeria in 1940 as part of efforts to
separate the grazing lands from farm lands and these grazing reserves
were formally signed into law by the regional government in 1965; thus
grazing reserves predates Governor Al-makura’s administration.
Going by the press statement issued by the Secretary to the State
Government, Barr Mohammed Hassan Abdullahi the state government only
gave an approval that all the existing grazing reserves be converted
for purpose of establishment of cattle ranches by the federal
government which all well meaning Nigerians see as the only solution
to the menace of farmers/ herders clash in Nigeria.
As for the siting of infrastructure in Kwandere village, again any
person with good understanding of Nasarawa state knows that every town
and village in Nasarawa state got its own fair share of the dividend
of democracy under the able leadership of Umaru Tanko Al-makura. Since
2011 when he took over in the state, it is to everybody’s knowledge
that Al-makura’s preoccupation is on how to distribute evenly, the
dividends of democracy to the communities that make up Nasarawa state.
In the whole of Nasarawa state, there is no community that has not
benefited from Al-makura’s largesse. We all marvel at his performance
and his prudent management of human and material resources of the
state. Nobody in his real sense could doubt Al-makura’s impressive
performance as the infrastructures he put in place across the three
Senatorial districts are not only ‘touchable’ but concrete and solid.
Clearly, by his press conference Hon Orogu is only playing politics,
but then is it proper and sensible for us to play politics on matters
that has to do with the lives of our people?
Farmers/herders conflicts have become distressing in this country
especially in the North Central states, as the conflicts have caused
these states to lose thousands of her youths as well as property worth
billions of Naira, in addition to the damage done to the existing
bonds amongst our communities. I discussed this exhaustively in a
write up titled: “In defence of cattle ranching in Nasarawa state”
which appeared in Leadership newspaper of Thursday June 28, 2018 and
in some online and social media platforms.
Given the colossal damage done by these conflicts, it is imperative
on us to work towards finding a lasting solution to the menace
notwithstanding our political and religious differences. And since
cattle ranches were identified as the only solution to these
conflicts, there is no reason whatsoever for anyone to bring in
politics into the matter.
On matters concerning threat to our national security, all other
political considerations or personal liberties should take the back
seat. Even in advanced democracies, national security is always at
the front burner, it supersedes any other considerations.
Farmers/herders conflicts in Nigeria are undoubtedly, becoming a
serious threat to our national security requiring all hands on deck to
stop the carnage.
What Hon. Francis Orogu and his PDP are trying to project regarding
cattle ranching in Nasarawa state as contained in their press
conference cannot fly, as the people of the state have since become
wise to their antics. We can only advise them to key into this noble
idea of cattle ranches in the state and stop the shenanigans.

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