Kaduna State Governor Nasir el-Rufa’i, his Kogi State counterpart, Yahaya Bello and five other Northern governors on Friday in the Presidential Villa, earnestly begged President Muhammadu Buhari to contest the 2019 general elections.
The others are governors of Niger, Abubakar Bello; Yobe, Ibrahim Gaidam; Kano, Abdullahi Ganduje; Adamawa, Jibrilla Bindo; and Plateau, Simon Lalong.
The governors said they have no apology for endorsing Buhari to run for the 2019 elections.
Addressing State House reporters later, El-rufai, said they had no apology meeting the president over the 2019 presidential election.
While Ganduje said all seven of them met in the Villa coincidentally, El-Rufai, said those that chose to see the visit as relating to 2019 elections were right and there is no need to pretend about it.
When asked if the visit was for 2019 elections, El-Rufai said, “We are politicians and those of us you see here want the President to contest the 2019 election, we have no apologies for that. We believe in Mr. President we want him to continue running the country in the right direction. People can speculate about 2019 we have no apologies.”
Asked if those sensing the visit was for 2019 were right, the Kaduna governor said, “Whether they are right or wrong is besides the point. Everybody is entitled to his own opinion but as governors, and most of us here with the exception of Yobe Governor are first time governors. We are interested in the continuity and stability and we want the president to continue with that.
“Like our leader the governor of Kano said, we just happen to be here by coincidence and we went to pray and decided to felicitate with the President and we feel satisfied that anytime we see him, he is getting better and better.”
Ganduje said the best way forward on this trending issue of Fulani herdsmen, was colony as proposed by the federal government.
He said, “The President met with stakeholders from the affected states and I think a suggestion has been put forward by the Minister of Agriculture concerning the colony and I think eventually that is the answer.”
The Federal Government had assured landowners of adequate compensation for their lands that would be acquired to establish ‘cattle colonies’ as part of efforts to end persistent bloody farmers/herders conflicts in the country.
But governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, has kicked against colony, insisting ranching it the way to go.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, had on Monday, disclosed that everything has been put in place by the Federal Government to establish cattle colonies that would solve the continued herdsmen/farmers conflict in parts of the country.
He said that the facilities will be provided to take care of the herdsmen and their cattle, which they (herdsmen) have said if water and grass were provided they would not be moving with their cattle.
According to him the cattle colony project will start immediately following the offer of five hectares of land each by 16 states in the country, which also President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to help the ministry with money for the project.
The herdsmen, under the aegis of ‘Myetti Allah Kautal Hore’ have vowed to resist the anti-open grazing law enacted by the state government to check frequent clashes between them and farmers, a development that is believed to have renewed the killings since the beginning of this year.