Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Miyetti-Allah Kautal Hore Fulani has sought the urgent intervention of the federal government over what it described as â€˜mass evictionâ€™ and â€˜criminal displacementâ€™ of herdsmen in Benue state over the anti-grazing law.
The National President of the association, Alhaji Abdullahi Bello Bodejo while addressing journalists wednesday in Abuja described the Benue anti-open grazing law which became effective on 1 November as an aberration which is against the provisions of the Nigeria Constitution that guarantees the rights of every Nigerians to live in any place or state of their choice.
He stated that the Benue controversy has led to displacement and suffering of innocent people who have become refugees in their country, hence the need for urgent and drastic intervention by the government.
Bodejo noted that reports from those displaced show they were on the move for three or more days without food and shelter.
He stated: â€œthe Benue crisis is mass eviction and criminal displacement of Nigerians who have been put under undue pressure especially the children and the elderly among those displaced and migrating to neighbouring states and other places.
â€œWe have the Benue State Government displacing innocent Fulanis and other pastoralists and Taraba State wanted to follow suit. What have Fulanis done to warrant this persecution? Does it mean that the Federal Government and President Muhammadu Buhari are not aware of this development or are they afraid of living up to their constitutional responsibilities?
â€œThe Fulanis are law-abiding and we as Fulani leaders are trying our best to calm our people. However there is a limit to how long we will calm the people before they get tired and protest their persecution,â€ Bodejo said.
He emphasised that the case instituted by the association in the Federal High Court Abuja was an indication that the Fulanis are peaceful and law abiding, while also calling on the federal government to establish the National Grazing Reserve Commission as part of measures to bring lasting resolutions to the crisis.
â€œIt is worrisome that thousands of cattle are being moved in undignified manners that endanger the lives of families and their only means of economic livelihood. The question is where is the Benue Government want this displaced Nigerians to go to?â€ he said.