BY HEMBADOON ORSAR, Makurdi
The Tor Tiv, Ocivirigh, Prof. James Ayatse has enlisted the support of former President Olusegun Obasanjo to avert the threats from killer herdsmen to overrun Tivland.
Professor Ayatse spoke In Gboko when the former Nigerian leader visited him at his temporary residence.
“I appeal to you to speak out to prevent what looks like a carefully planned programme to kill us and take over our land,” the Tor Tiv stated.
“The herdsmen have come out to openly challenge the Anti-open Grazing Law of the state and threatened to mobilise and resist the implementation of the law, they have openly declared war on my people.”
The paramount ruler described the former President as a respectable voice in Nigeria and beyond.
Professor Ayatse also urged him to use his position to solicit for more appointments for Tiv people at the federal level and also create opportunities for them to benefit from his rich experience in his high technology farming and modern techniques and skills.
Responding,Chief Olusegun Obasanjo urged current leaders of the country to find a lasting solution to the incessant clashes between farmers and herders noting that while every group had the right to peacefully pursue its economic well-being, none had the right to do that at the expense of others.
He also appealed to those saddled with leadership positions to respect the federal character as enshrined in the constitution of the country and do everything to address complaints of real or perceived exclusions from any section of the country.
The former president who was in the state at the weekend to formally launch the maiden forum of the Zero Hunger Initiative, explained that the Zero Hunger programme was a Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs agenda which targeted the elimination of hunger in 2030.
He said the pilot program in Nigeria focuses on five (5) states which include Benue, Ebonyi, Sokoto, Borno and Ogun.
Also speaking, Governor Samuel Ortom emphasized that Chief Obasanjo’s visit for the Zero Hunger campaign in the state has added value to the agriculture sector appealing to him to use his position to get major interventions for the state government.