The Oasis Reporters
March 6, 2018
A Reuters news report says that Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari will visit
the central state of Benue and Zamfara in the northwest – both hit by fighting over grazing in recent weeks, along with Yobe where 110 female students were audaciously kidnapped from their college in Dapchi town.
His tour has already begun in the state of Taraba, where herdsmen and farmers have fought over dwindling arable land.
Smarting from his encounter with President Buhari “ at the last Council of States meeting, which took place in mid-February, President Buhari walked past the embattled Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state, refused to shake his hand, looked him in the eye and asked “how are your cattle rearers?” with a big smirk on his face”, according to an article written by former Nigeria’s Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode.
A presidency source has said that “the president has decided to undertake an on the spot assessment of the various occurrences and to meet and console the communities affected”.
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has said that president Muhammadu Buhari is the father of the nation and he can visit any state of the federation anytime he so wish.
Governor Ortom who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase said that Benue is part of Nigeria and the president can visit.
When asked if the government is happy with the visit and their expectations , Terver said, “I don’t have anything to say beyond that .
“The president is the owner of the country and he can visit any part of the country anytime he so wish.”
Analysts in Benue State that has seen one of the worst massacres so far insist that the governor was speaking through clenched teeth. In other words, Buhari’s visit is inevitable. They are not jubilant about it, and for all they care, he can come and go, but the heart of Benue has no warm embrace for him.
Would Mr. President accept the traditional hospitality of pounded yam with smoked bush meat for dinner in Government House?
Pundits doubt this very seriously. The President’s office are likely to pack his lunch from Abuja. Though there’s a likelihood that he would avoid being in Makurdi the state capital during meal times.
No love lost.