President Muhammadu Buhari has said Samuel Ortom, Governor of Benue State, has been unfair to him regarding the herdsmen crisis in the country.
President Buhari, who is of Fulani extraction, said this in an interview aired on Arise News on Thursday.
Some states in the South-West and North-Central regions have been plagued by attacks reportedly carried out by herders, as well as the herder-farmer clashes.
Benue State has, in particular, recorded reported cases of herder-farmer clashes at numerous times, as well as aggrieved herdsmen attacking villages. This prompted Governor Ortom to accuse the Federal Government of not being proactive enough and subsequently implement the Anti-grazing law signed by the State House of Assembly.
Responding to a question on the herdsmen issue, President Buhari bemoaned the statements of Governor Ortom, saying that he will not deny that he is a Fulani man who is part of them.
He said he told the Benue Governor that the herdsmen perpetrating the attacks are not the Nigerian ones.
According to the president, the Tivs, which form the majority in Benue, and the Fulanis had been engaged in cultural conflicts for a long time.
He said: “The problem is trying to understand the culture of the cattle rearers. There is a cultural difference between the Tivs and the Fulanis. So, the governor of Benue said I am not disciplining the cattle rearers because I am one of them.
“I cannot say I am not one of them but he is being very unfair to me and I told him that the Nigerian cattle rearer was not carrying anything more than a stick sometime with a machete to cut some trees and feed his cattle but those sophisticated ones move with AK 47.
“So, from other areas, people rush to Nigeria you know and Fulanis from Mauritania and Central Africa look the same so they feel they are the Nigerian ones and I assure you that we are trying to resuscitate these cattle routes, grazing areas and make them accountable.”