This was contained in a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Terver Akase on Friday.
Governor Ortom expressed that with the move, it appeared that the President was turning Nigeria into a ‘cow republic’.
“We were shocked and disappointed to read a statement from the Presidency indicating that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved recommendations of a committee to review “with dispatch,” 368 grazing sites across 25 states in the country, “to determine the levels of encroachment,” the statement read in part.
“In a country where insecurity has reached an all-time high with hundreds being killed by armed herdsmen, bandits and other terrorists, the Presidency is only bordered about animals and their safety and is deploying all machinery and arsenals of government to impose grazing reserves and cattle routes on Nigerians. This is unacceptable!” he added.
Speaking further, the governor accused the Buhari administration of “turning a blind eye to the unimaginable levels of encroachment on lands belonging to Nigerians by cattle”.
“Mr President has never come out even once to condemn activities of herdsmen and the attacks they visit on innocent people. The only time the President is heard speaking about atrocities of the herders is when he defends them.
“It is now clear that the Presidency wants to plunge the country into avoidable crisis. Otherwise, what is the justification for President Buhari’s insistence that grazing reserves be established across the country when Nigerians have openly kicked against the policy and have embraced ranching in place of open grazing?”