Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, first met with the President before Bauchi State Governor, Mohammed Abubakar and Jigawa State Governor, Mohammed Badaru together met with the President.
Speaking with State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, Ortom said that he was at the presidential villa to seek the President’s assistance towards addressing some security challenges in the state.
According to him, the Benue government has been partnering with security agencies and have received support from the Federal Government to tackle the level of crime and clashes between herdsmen and farmers, which have been put under control.
He said: “We have been having security challenges but thank God with the collaboration with some security agencies in my state and with the support of Mr. President, I can say that there is relatively calm.
“Today, the issue of herdsmen and farmers we have been able to through dialogue agree to work together in a manner that there will be win-win,” he said
He noted that one of the best ways to end clashes between farmers and Fulani herds men was to adopt the system of ranching.
“I have always said this, if we can copy the presidential system from America why can we not copy ranching? But you see it is a gradual process and cannot be done overnight.
“We are propagating ranching as the final and lasting solution to these issues of herdsmen and farmers clashes. But is something that cannot be done overnight. We need the collaboration of the states and the federation to agree on a formula, one for the nomads,” he added.
He said that the state is also planning the construction of Cargo Airport in Markudi to assist in the export of the huge agricultural produce from the state to other parts of the country and abroad.
The Airport project, he said, will be executed through 85 percent contribution from a consortium of private sector with Benue only putting in 15 percent.
He also confirmed that some governors have put their grievances in writing over the lopsidedness in the President’s appointments including the recent Ambassadorial nomination list.
The action, he recalled, was part of the agreement reached at an emergency meeting held between the APC governors and President Buhari last week Monday.
He however pointed out that it was the prerogative of President Buhari to choose whoever he wants to serve in his government.
He said: “It is the prerogative of Mr. President to do appointments but where there is need we always give support. We have written where we have reservations and it is being attended to.”
On their visit to the President, Bauchi Governor said that he came with Jigawa Governor to confer with Mr President on common security issues affecting the two states.
He said: “As you can see, I am here with the governor of Jigawa, as you know we share border with Jigawa, we have come to discuss some security concerns with the President to solicit for his support for us to effectively ensure security in the two states, this is basically what we have come to discuss.
“We are concerned that the spate of kidnapping is increasing and anything that will touch on the security of our states is a matter of grave concern to us, that is why we have rushed here before it becomes endemic and we have conferred with the President and we have his support.
“The military is conducting exercise in the area but what the exercise lacked before is coordination between the two states so there is a need for us to coordinate and for us to do that we require the seal of the C in C.
On the Northern governors’ trip to the United States, he said that they were invited by the United States Peace Institute based in Washington.
“It is an organisation set up by the government of the US, they have a great concern in the northern part of Nigeria and they believe whatever situation that exist in the northern part of Nigeria have a multiplier effect on the whole nation. So if you are able to solve the problem before it becomes a national problem, it will help, we have discussed with them the root causes of insurgency and illiteracy, poverty, lack of empowerment of youth and women and this are issues we have discussed and the issues of IDPs in Borno, Bauchi, Taraba, Gombe.
“They have indicated their concern for the humanitarian concern and with this hue and cry about the situation of Children in the IDP camp and we have solicited for their immediate support so that we can assist the children.”
Governor of Jigawa said: “We have been fighting insurgency and criminal elements in our individual states but we believe we need a coordinated fight between Bauchi and Jigawa to finally drag them out of the forest and finally put rest to the problem there.”
He said that the President is willing to assist the two states and more actions will be seen in the coming weeks.