Former Senate Majority Leader, Ali Ndume, has accused the president, Muhammadu Buhari and governors of the 36 states of the federation of complicity in rising ethnic tension in the country.
Ndume, currently senator representing Borno South on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), spoke on Thursday, at a webinar organised by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Correspondence Chapel, Abuja.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, was responding to comments made by Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, who was chairman of the occasion.
Ortom had alleged among other issues that armed bandits were currently operating in at least 24 out of 36 states of the federation and the FCT.
According to the governor, “At least, 24 out of 36 states of Nigeria now have serious farmers and herdsmen crisis involving killings. Without ranching laws, herdsmen may soon be at every doorstep and this will compromise farming and food security across the country.
“Herdsmen attacks on farmers will only end when open grazing is completely eliminated. Many countries in the world including those in Africa have embraced ranching.”
Speaking on the growing kidnapping, Ortom said, “The rise in kidnappings of all categories of people across the country is a dangerous trend. We don’t know who is telling the truth. But as it stands, there is a strong allegation that desperate politicians brought into the country foreign mercenaries to help them win elections.”
But Ndume was not enthused by Ortom’s heart-rending speech, as he accused the governor and other leaders of masterminding the ethnic tension in the country.
Ndume said the political class, especially the president and governors, seldomly fight openly, but pitch the people against themselves.
“About 11 soldiers were killed in Benue and as I speak, not one person has been arrested. Instead, Ortom is telling us that the perpetrator will be brought to justice. Let me tell the governor and other elected leaders that they will account for those killed in their states,” Ndume fumed.