Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom on Saturday hinted that the Fulani Socio-cultural group, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore’s constant threat won’t stop the state’s stand against open grazing prohibition in the state.
Ortom noted that the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law has come to stay and its implementation is ongoing without hitches.
He disclosed that the law aimed at protecting both farmers and herdsmen, stressing that it was not enacted to witch hunt any group of persons or individuals.
Reacting to a story in THISDAY newspaper’s Saturday edition, the Chief Press Secretary to Benue State Government, Terver Akase stated: “Another statement issued by Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore claiming that 10,000 cows have been evicted from Benue State since implementation of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law commenced on November 1.
He said, “We find the allegation by the group as contradictory as it has come. This is because the same group had said two weeks ago that Fulani pastoralists decided to voluntarily leave Benue State because, according to them, they will never accept the law banning open grazing in the state.”
According to him, “Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore’s insinuation that cows owned by Fulanis have been driven out of Benue is therefore a sharp contradiction to their earlier published stand.
“The claim by the group that they are under threat as a result of their stand against the Open Grazing Prohibition Law of Benue State is also hypocritical.”
He added that, “Miyetti Allah has in the last couple of months been drumming for war and threatening to mobilise their members to attack the people of Benue State.
“The group’s alarm that a Fulani cattle owner in Benue recently jumped into River Benue is another ridiculous fabrication aimed at creating an atmosphere of apprehension in the state.
Akase further stated that, Benue State Government has repeatedly called for the arrest of the group’s President, Abdullahi Bello Bodejo and its Secretary, Saleh Alhassan for making statements capable of causing the breakdown of law and order in Benue State.
â€œWe wish to once more urge security agencies to, as a matter of urgency, apprehend officials of the splinter Miyetti Allah group for questioning. Hundreds of Benue people have been killed by herdsmen in the last couple of years.
â€œThat Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore has openly assumed responsibility as the umbrella body shielding the killer herdsmen, it is pertinent that they are arrested and made to account for the blood of the innocent persons.
â€œWe encourage livestock owners to obey provisions of the law to enable them establish ranches for rearing of their animals. This is the best way to end frequent invasion of Benue communities and killing of innocent people in the state.