Thursday, 18 January 2018 03:32

Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom is my Hero

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The purpose of this essay is to register my full, unequivocal support for Governor Samuel Orton of Benue State, Nigeria, for exhibiting the rare boldness expected of any true leader who stands up to uphold the law of the land and oppose criminals and persons determined to destroy my nation. I am a Nigerian and Nigeria is the land of my fathers,  

Governor Ortom stood up to speak the truth. Governor Ortom stood up against intimidation and lawlessness. The truth is that laws enacted to protect Nigerian farmlands are good laws that ought to be respected and fairly enforced to protect society’s food supply. Laws governing the best use of land  ought to be obeyed by all, regardless of tribe, position or occupation.  

Nobody in Nigeria should have the audacity to be live above or undermine the law. The law must be obeyed by all Nigerians, regardless of whether the citizen  is a cattle herder, the chief of a village, or cousin of President Buhari. Social standing  and wealth are irrelevant considerations when laws are to be enacted and obeyed. We know the  Governors who are fraidy-cats, spineless , spiritless , and cowardly yes-men. Governor Ortom is different.

Social standing and wealth  do not negate, contradict, or disaffirm  a citizen’s obligation to obey applicable law enacted to protect society , nor does possession of the AK-47 arrogate to anyone the brazen effrontery  to trash the law .  The law must be obeyed even by President Buhari and all governors and senators if society is to be protected. Nobody is above the law. The US President Trump, despite his bombastic ranting, knows he has to obey the law or he is impeached.

The world derides and laughs at Nigeria as a country where laws  in the books are just there for beautification purposes without being obeyed by the citizens and their leaders. Laws are often disregarded by the ignorant Nigerians who feel they are above the law.

This writer should be arrested and tried in court if he breaks any Nigerian law; if he steals, sells illegal drugs, or rapes one of the Nollywood stars. So should Buhari, Obasanjo and any of the past and current  heads of state, governors, including  persons going by the titles of Dr., Alhaji, chief, Iman, Reverend, Professor, and so forth. A person capable of trashing the Nigerian law has not yet been born, meaning that if one is in Nigerian one has to obey the law of the land.

Our Nigerian leaders ought to be positive law-abiding role models rather than law breakers or demi-gods. Who in hell has the brazen effrontery to demand that a law passed by a legislature to protect our farmlands should be bent or overturned by a Governor Just to please the hellish man? This writer finds it extremely laughable that a group of wandering herdsmen armed with unregistered, illegal firearms should want to circumvent a law that preserves our farmlands. These herdsmen often are nameless and without authentic addressees while committing heinous crimes, including rapes and murders..

If the herdsmen have legitimate gripes against the farmland laws, they are welcome to go to courts and express their opinions. Why can’t the herdsmen hire lawyers  or ask for legal representation paid by the public? Who says that Nigerians cannot live without buying cattle or that beef is the best of all foods or that all men are carnivorous or meat-eating? Research shows that herbivores/plant eaters live healthier lives than carnivores/meat-eaters. It is laughable that a group of migrant wanderers should hold my country hostage for something as transient as beef. 

The cattle herders’ demand to be given right to confiscate  people’s  to use as grazing pastures,  is ludicrous,  and laughable.  A thing is laughable if it is pathetic, pitiful, and  derisory, absurd, or preposterous. It is stupid and insulting to seize a man’s land without paying adequate compensation to the owners of the land.  Whoever thinks that the entire land of Nigeria is a grazing field for the Fulani’s cattle is not fair to members of the Nigeria’s 371 ethnic groups,  numbering  above 180 million souls.

It is incredibly ridiculous that President Buhari  and Nigerian Senate should stand by to watch a travesty take place. Killing Nigerians by Fulani herder is a travesty. A travesty is  mockery of democracy, charade, pretense.

Who are the herdsmen by the way? These are boko haran fighters who disguise themselves as cattle herders.  It is alleged these marauding  people are either President Buhari’s tribesmen or President Buhari is their sponsor.  The cattle herders  are  no less than cold-blooded murders whose only occupation is being sneaky marauders and aimless plunderers who kill people without reasons. They have done this for centuries as slavers and warriors.


Who are the employers and sponsors of these boko haran/cattle herders? It is alleged that the employers include President Buhari and the Nigerian governors and law makers who own several thousands of  heads of cattle. The employers of these cattle herders and owners of the cattle should be held accountable for the damages and deaths their employees cause.  Because these cattle herders are being exploited by owners of the cattle, owners should pay N100,000,000 (one hundred million naira or $300,000) to each family or spouse of persons killed by the Fulani herders over grazing rights.

 We have several  recommendations to make, including:

  1. Mediators are needed to settle disputes between cattle herders and owners of land, to look into issues including nature of lease of land for grazing, cost of such lease, duration of lease,  and the compensation.
  2. The herdsmen should complete an IQ (Identification Questionnaire) that provides  name, address, income, employer phones, and other demographics.
  3. The Federal Ministry of Education should provide some forms of adult education for the herders and primary education for the children. Migrant education should be provided whereby teachers and headmasters should follow the students wherever students and their parents camp.
  4. The Ministry of Land  in the Northern Nigerian States from where the majority of the cattle herders come from should work with the Federal Government to designate pieces of land to turn into enclosures to house these cattle.
  5. The cattle herders should be taught acceptable animal husbandry practices rather than just driving their animals across the country over farmlands where animals eat and destroy citizens’ crops and vegetables.
  6. The cattle herders may learn to get into business of slaughtering the cows and selling beef through middlemen. Why can’t these men get into the canning industry to produce corned  beef beef stew, barbecued beef? They ought to explore selling smoked beef, dried beef, and so forth.

Submitted Wednesday, Jamuary 17, 2018

Dr. James C. Agazie; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ;

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James Agazie Ed D

A retired college Professor  with educational backgrounds in law (JD) education (Ed.D, MA) counseling,( MS) and and mathematics.  Write on topics dealing with Nigerian families, marriages, education, and employment.