Benue: Defection to APC, ploy to cover up water resources bill- PDP raises alarm

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Benue State has raised alarm over the decamping of politicians into the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.

PDP alleged that the massive defection is the new ploy by forces suspected of sponsoring herdsmen attacks against the state over the years which resulted in thousands of deaths, displacement of communities and desolation of ancestral lands.

The opposition party alleged that the ploy was to cover up the push for the ‘water resource bill and herdsmen vigilante.

The party in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Bemgba Iortyom, urged Benue residents to see beyond the facade of those decampings and ask the salient questions: why is Benue now the focal point of the entire APC machinery at a time when elections are not even nigh at hand in the state?

It said, “the answer to that question, when asked, shouldn’t be far-fetched; those decampings into APC in Benue are apparently a veil intended to cover the eyes of the people from seeing and rising in resistance against the grand plot to implement the twin agenda of what is presently being touted as “Water Resources Bill” and as well the “Herdsmen Vigilante”.

“As it was plain to see over the years the herdsmen invading Benue targeted to occupy the state’s land resources for the use of cattle breeders, but did meet with stiff resistance from the state’s governor, Samuel Ortom, who doggedly deployed advocacy to the global human community and as well enacted and enforced the Anti-Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law, with the resultant effect being a stymieing of the herdsmen onslaught.

“We are aware that the strategy has modified into the “Water Resources Bill” which in plain terms proposes to annex from the control of state governments land resources along river banks to a specified extent and bring some under the control of the Federal Government, while the idea of the “Herdsmen Vigilante” is a proposal by Fulani cattle breeders associations to own and deploy their own vigilante across the country to act as security guards accompanying nomadic herdsmen and their livestock as they migrate from one state to another.

“However, owing to the mistrust which Nigerians have developed for the All Progressives Congress (APC) controlled incumbent federal government as a result of its suspicious handling of herdsmen atrocities since it came to power in 2015, both ideas have been roundly rejected across the larger part of the country, including here in Benue State.

To the Benue man, woman and child, the “Water Resources Bill” is RUGA packaged in new wrappings while the “Herdsmen Vigilante” is an attempt to make easier the ‘conquistador’ agenda of the herdsmen, so it is predictable that Benue under Governor Ortom will be in the forefront of the resistance against those two agenda, and this has made the need to contain the state by the masterminds of the agenda a desperate one if it must sail through.”

PDP said the defection exposed the APC containment motives towards the state, and have resorted to decamping politicians all of who, with the exception of one, lost elections in 2019 and have been idle in small political parties, promising them appointments and elective offices at the Federal and state levels.

“As the National Assembly dominated by forces in alignment with masterminds of this agenda readies to pass into law the “Water Resources Bill” despite its apparent rejection by Nigerians, and as the herdsmen vow to enforce their vigilante across the country, even by force, Benue people must see beyond the intended veil of those APC decampings, and throw their support behind Governor Ortom to once again defeat another form of herdsmen invasion.”


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