18 January 2018

Nigeria: Presidency Describes Herdsmen Attacks On Farmers As Tragic

The Special Adviser to the Present on Political Matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, has described the persistent attacks on various communities in the country by herdsmen as tragic, saying that government is seeking for permanent solution to the problem.

Speaking with journalists wednesday at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos on his arrival from the United States, Ojudu said no one who means well for the country should be happy about the on-going herdsmen/ farmers crisis.

Ojudu, who said he travelled overseas to sensitise the people of Ekiti State in Diaspora about political development in Nigeria, remarked that the country does does have one -third of cattle in South Africa and even Brazil' yet, these countries are not embroiled in crisis as witnessed in Nigeria.

He added that for the for the killings to stop, there must be permanent solution to the problem.

He also canvassed for adequate planning and adoption of modern way of rearing cattle for the seemingly intractable problem to be solved.

"For me, it's very tragic, unfortunate and very sad for our country. As you are aware, I have been out of the country for almost 14 days now, and I am not well-briefed about this yet. I am leaving here first thing tomorrow morning to Abuja and by then, I would have been well-briefed. It's after then I can offer my candid opinion on the issue.

"But for me, it's very tragic and nobody including the President can be happy about what is happening. I know he would be troubled now that all these crises are happening in a country that he so much loves. President Muhammadu Buhari, is a patriot par excellence, a man who is very passionate about Nigeria and believes that Nigeria must remain one and will continue to remain one.

"The way out can't be a short term thing. In Nigeria, we think too much about short term solution to the problem at hand. Nigeria does not have a third of the cattle South Africans have, neither do we have a third of the cattle Brazil has. I think we need to plan and we have to make sure we adopt modern and sophisticated way of rearing cattle."

On his assessment of Governor Ayodele Fayose, Ojudu insisted that the incumbent governor had disappointed the Ekiti indigenes with his performance and utterances in office.

He lamented that despite the resources at the disposal of the state government; bailout funds and Paris Club refunds, workers in the state are still owed about a year salaries while pensioners who he said are dying in droves are not paid their entitlements.

He added that rather than being judicious with the resources at hand, the governor constructed a one kilometre bridge at N15bn without any futuristic value.

Ojudu insisted that Fayose's performance as governor was very poor and because of his inefficiency, the state has lost focus.

"Ekiti people thought Fayose was a messiah, then and they elected him, but in a state where salaries are not being paid for eight month to one year and we get allocations every month; bailout funds, Paris Club refund and others, yet, you cannot see anything on ground that he has done except a bridge that leads to nowhere. That bridge is uncalled for, unnecessary and Nigerian engineers have said it is unnecessary and a waste of limited resources. It's not going over water or anywhere.

"The bridge where it is sited is going to create more problems for us in the future. A one kilometre bridge over nothing is not a flyover to anywhere. He initially said he was going to construct the bridge for N4.5billion, now we have taken N15 billion out of the resources of Ekiti State.

"Fayose has brought us shame, he has brought us opprobrium in Ekiti State. An average Ekiti man cannot be proud of what is happening in the state now. We are a very proud people; people who are well-educated, intelligent and honest. Our children are not happy to be referred to as Ekiti sons and daughters and that is because of the way he carries himself. Certainly, we are going to do something about that," Ojudu declined comment on the recent ban of the former state governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, from holding office by the state government..

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