From George Okoh in Makurdi
The Miyeti Allah Kautal Hore, a Cattle breeders association of the Fulani herders has been accused as the sponsors the 40 deadly attacks that occurred in 14 local government areas in Benue State between 2013 to 2016.
Also over 2000 people were alleged to have been killed by the herdsmen with no fewer than half a million people displaced due to Fulani herdsmen attack on the state in the past three years.
This was disclosed at a press conference in Makurdi on Friday by the pan socio cultural group in Benue state, comprising of Mdzough U Tiv, Idoma National Forum and Omi Ny’Igede.
They stated that people of the state were still in search of 500 persons missing as a result of Fulani herdsmen attacks.
Spokesman of the group and Secretary General of the Mdzough TiV, Chief Edward Ujege who was reacting to the earlier press conference by Miyeitti Allah Kautal Hore briefing held in Abuja earlier in the week noted that the anti-open grazing law was the outcome of the yearnings of the people of the state who desired lasting solution to stop the yearly carnage by the herdsmen.
Ujege who chided the Miyeiti Allah for threatening to attack Benue State over the anti-open grazing law however called on federal government to arrest and prosecute the leadership of the group.
“Between 2013 and 2016, the Miyeitti Allah Kautal Hore sponsored herdsmen have carried about 40 major and deadly attacks in 14 of 23 local government areas of Benue State.’
“The open anti grazing law is the outcome of the yearning of Benue people who desire peace and lasting solutions to the incessant clashes between farmers and headers which has often led to the massacre, destruction of farm land, raping and other vices perpetrated by the herdsmen.
“We paid dearly for the atrocities of the herdsmen with over 2,000 lives of our men, women and children. Till date, over 500 persons are missing while over half a million youths people were displaced and the future of almost a million youths are truncated.”.
“Over 9,000 households were affected by various attacks carried out by the herdsmen while properties worth N95 billion were destroyed in 2014 alone,” they lamented.
The group dismissed the claim by Kautal Hore that the species of cows in the country were not good for ranching, saying that that their claims could not be ‘scientifically or empirical proved to show why and how their cows could not be ranched.’
Ujege added that people of the state were prepared and determined to ensure the success of the law, saying that the anti-open grazing law did not restrict the movement of pastoralists but it’s on encouraging headsmen to practice modern method of rearing animals through ranching.
He commended and pledge the support of the three organisation to the state government on the bold step it took to establish the law.