Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom has asked the federal government and the National Assembly to count Benue State out of the reintroduction of the Water Resources Bill.
He said the state will resist the fresh bid to pass the controversial bill, which the House of Representatives reintroduced last week.
Governor Ortom who made this known during the flag-off of the distribution of assorted improved seedlings to farmers across the 23 LGAs in Makurdi insisted that Benue will resist any evil agenda by the federal government to take over the river banks in the name of Water Resources Bill.
The governor emphasized that Benue citizens will not in any way allow the federal government to take control of its river banks in disguise of water bill to allow herdsman from Mali, Niger, Senegal and other African countries who are already terrorising farmers to come and occupy the Benue valley.
“I want to urge Benue indigenes to rise up and resist the re-introduction of water Resources Bill by the National Assembly targeted at taking over our ancestral heritage, Benue State will resist whatever strategy that will be brought by the federal government to take over our God given resources.”
He said, “The federal government in disguise to collect our ancestral lands and resources has brought Cattle Colony, Ruga settlement, Live Stock transformation Plan, Water Resources Bill among others in the last 7 years, what a shame, we will not allow such to happen in Benue, we will fight with the last drop of our blood.”
According to him, “The federal government should concentrate and manage the Federal Capital Territory which have been taken over by terrorists, citizens in the country are not sleeping with their eyes closed even in Katsina which is the president’s home state, and their concern is Water Resources Bill, even if other states with rivers agree to cede their God given resources to the federal government, we in Benue we will not succumb to pressure from any quarters.”
The governor also warned council chairmen to desist from politicising the seed and seedlings given to them, adding that whatever they received should be shared to all farmers irrespective of political affiliation.
In a welcome address, the special adviser to the governor on bureau for local government and chieftaincy affairs, Barrister Ken Achabo who commended the governor for putting smiles on the faces of farmers said, the certified improve seeds and seedlings will enhance farmers’ production and boost their livelihood.
The adviser who warned the chairmen against diversion, urged them to ensure that the seeds and seedlings reach the desired farmers across the council wards.