Fayose Asks Benue People Not to Go Back on Anti-open Grazing Law

  • Army arrests two armed Fulani herdsmen in Benue

George Okoh in Makurdi

Governor of Ekiti State, Peter Ayodele Fayose, has called on the people of Benue State to remain resolute with the anti-open grasing law even in the face of killing by herdsmen.

He threw the challenge yesterday in Makurdi during a condolence visit on Governor Samuel Ortom at the Government House

Fayose who described what the Benue People are facing as ethnic cleansing, maintained that their land which is rich in agriculture had been handed to them as inheritance by their forefather hence, they must protect it.

He noted that the anti-open grazing law cannot be compromised as it remains the only panacea to curbing incessant attack by herdsmen on farmers.

“Leaders of this country will one day give account for thousands of Benue blood that has been spilled. It is an irony that some people are tried for hate speech while those who kill are exonerated. This government is ruling Nigeria with double standards. He who takes another person’s life will pay for it some day.

“Those beating drum for this herdsmen are behind. Imagine Ghana has dealt decisively with herdsmen and we should do the same. You do not disarm vigilant who use dane guns and allow people with AK47 free,” he fumed.

Fayose who announced a donation of N10 million to cushion the effect of the over 100,000 displaced persons in the state, advised his Benue State counterpart to seek alternative political structure if his party has failed.

“If you enter a vehicle and it breaks down, you are free to take another one. I am the oldest Governor in the country at the moment having served in President Obasanjo, Jonathan governments and now, am king of the road in Buhari’s government,” Fayose said.

Responding, Ortom said there was a paradigm shift in this country, vowing to join Fayose in speaking out loudly against injustice in the country.

“Even though I am in APC if I see anything wrong with the Nigeria system, I will speak out. All I am asking for now is justice, equity, fairness and transparency and not giving a dog a bad name just to hang it. I am an elected governor and must speak for my people. The law is a product of the people. Leaders must rise up and leave up to their responsibilities,” Ortom insisted.

Meanwhile, Troops of the Nigerian Army 707 Special Force Brigade yesterday arrested two Fulani (herdsmen) militia in Guma yesterday while planning an attack on the local government area in Benue State.
According to a statement by the Assistant Director Army Public Relations 707 Special Forces Brigade, Major Olabisi Olalekan Ayeni, the troops on a routine patrol on Gbajimba-Iyiodeh road in Guma Local Government Area, arrested two Fulani militias who were suspected to be planning a dangerous mission.

He said the troops sighted a group of militias while on their daily patrol.
“The militia who were suspected to be converging, possibly for an attack on Ortom’s fish farm and other innocent citizens, were about to be approached for questioning when they opened fire on the troops who later engaged them,” he added.

The violent herdsmen who also fought back were at the same time trying to flee but the special forces intensified their pursuit and succeeded in arresting two of them while others fled in disarray.
He said the herdsmen had since been handed over to the authorities.