By CrossRiverWatch Admin
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Cross River State has condemned the position of the Governor, Benedict Ayade on the raging open grazing debate in the country.
Mr. Ayade had last week, in a presser, said that he was against the anti-open grazing law proposed by the State’s House of Assembly in furtherance of the position of the Southern Nigerian Governor’s forum meetings earlier this year.
Mr. Ayade failed to attend any of the meetings wherein the Governors made a series of demands and set a September 1, deadline for the enactment of anti-open grazing laws to curb the farmers – herders clashes across the country.
Cross River State has not been left out with communities in Odukpani, Obubra, Ikom, Yala, Obudu, Ogoja, Bekwarra and Abi Local Government Areas reporting skirmishes between farmers and herders in the past five years.
And, the PDP in a statement issued last weekend by its spokesman said Mr. Ayade’s position was a “canonization of incompetence.”
Mr. Ayade is a Knight of the Catholic Church, and canonization refers to a high mass and process where a dead person is made a Saint – an intermediary in prayers between the living lay faithful and the creator.
The PDP wondered why Mr. Ayade decided to be a “black sheep,” despite what Obudu, his home Local Government and other neighboring council areas have suffered.
It also wondered what happened to the “king Grass,” Mr. Ayade said will solve the farmer – herder clashes in the country.
Below is the full statement…
On Thursday, 2nd December 2021, Cross Riverians were once again forced to watch in utter shock and disbelief the sheer display of nothingness and ineptitude by Governor Ben Ayade during a Press Conference wherein he emphatically stated that he has chosen to stand with the murderous Fulani Herdsmen against his own People– those whose very mandate he’s enjoying today as Governor. In the jamboree-making Press Conference, Ayade described the Fulani herdsmen as his brothers, stating that it was morally and ethnically unacceptable to prohibit a trade that existed before he was born.
To say that the above statement from Governor Ben Ayade is utterly insensitive, inciting, nauseating, and sickeningly unbecoming would be an understatement. The People’s Democratic Party (in) Cross River State condemns in strong terms such reprehensible statement from the Governor, who ordinarily should always stand and protect the interest of his people first, before trying to sound politically correct – just to massage the ego of the hegemonic Fulani Herdsmen. With the statement credited to Governor Ben Ayade, one may be tempted to question the governor’s state of mind. Is our dear Governor suffering from selective amnesia? How can the governor quickly forget the many atrocious acts of these Fulani herdsmen against farmers and helpless villagers in various communities across the Nation?
It has become absolutely imperative to inform the Governor that no leader is more powerful than the led, for the power of the people is always greater than the people in power. Governor Ben Ayade should be advised that he’s inviting anarchy and gradually digging the mass grave of our people.
At a time in our Nation where every State is speaking against open grazing, Ayade has chosen to be the black sheep of the family. How can one explain the fact that a predominantly agrarian State like ours should be left at the mercies and brutality of the murderous Fulani herdsmen?
How can one explain the fact that at a time when every state is trying to protect its citizens from the harsh consequences of open grazing which has led to loss of crops, income and livelihood, Governor Ben Ayade is ingloriously hobnobbing with the perceived perpetrators of this heinous crime? Governor Ben Ayade has chosen to audaciously betray the trust the people reposed on him. He has chosen to lay in bed with the perceived enemies of the people. What a tragedy!
It is regrettable that a government that ought to reflect the wishes and aspirations of the people, has chosen to fight the people that it ought to protect. The good people of Cross River State have spoken elaborately loud against open grazing typified by Fulani herdsmen.
In Obudu, where the governor comes from and throughout the Northern Senatorial District of the State that shares border with Benue State – who are exposed to this menace – have in recent months taken laws into their hands by chasing away hordes of Fulani herdsmen from their various villages in a mass action by Youths. This kind of mass action, which can breed resistance and anarchy, but became necessary in the face of the government’s inability or refusal to come to the aid of its citizens, underscores the fact that Governor Ben Ayade has failed our people.
We hereby call on the governor to expeditiously sign into law the anti – open grazing bill, as Cross River State cannot afford the luxury of War and anarchy. We also wish to advise the Governor, who is obviously head-over-heels in love with the Fulani herdsmen to export to the herdsmen the king-size giant grasses that he told Cross Riverians he was going to grow and sell to herdsmen, or are the grasses another digital phantom Project of the governor?
As we pass through this dark phase of our history as a state, the Peoples Democratic Party enjoins Cross Riverians to remain steadfast and strong, as we are very much confident that help is coming soon. There shall be light at the end of the tunnel.
God bless Cross River State.
Prince Mike Ojisi
(State Publicity Secretary)
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