Miyetti Allah says Ortom’s actions threat to peaceful coexistence
The leadership of Fulani pastoralist groups, yesterday, rose from an emergency meeting in Kaduna, urging President Muhammadu Buhari to call Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom to order over the anti-open grazing law in the state.
They said the governor’s “actions are a fundamental threat to peaceful coexistence and food security in Nigeria.”
The groups in attendance include the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore Fulani Socio-cultural Association, Tabital Pulaaku Nigeria Chapter, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Mobgal Fulbe Development Association, Gam Allah Fulani Development Association, Fulani Title Holders Association, Pastoral Resolve (PARE), and Jonde Jam Fulani Youth Association.
They vowed to do everything legally possible to resist such law that is against their culture, movement and economic interests.
Their position was contained in a communiqué jointly signed by National President of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore Fulani Socio-Cultural Association, Alhaji Abdullahi Bello Bodejor, his Secretary, Mr. Saleh Alhassan and Chairman of Communiqué Drafting Committee, Garus Gololo.
The communiqué read in part: “That we condemn the call by some desperate and jobless groups, under the leadership of one Ariyo Atoye, a jobless youth parading the streets of Abuja looking for crumbs from corrupt politicians, agitating for the profiling and stigmatisation of Fulani pastoralists in Nigeria.
“We urge the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) to ignore their letter, as they are hired agents of a sinking governor, who is notorious for funding and arming militia groups causing havoc to the Fulani pastoralists in the Benue Valley.
“We totally reject the repressive and oppressive ‘Anti-open Grazing Law,’ as it is fundamentally going against our culture, economic interest and constitutional rights and will deploy all the necessary legal means, as enshrined in our constitution, to challenge it.
“Consequently, we affirm our support and solidarity for the legal action taken by the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore Fulani Socio- Cultural Association to challenge the negative Benue anti-grazing law at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
“That pastoralists, like all citizens of Nigeria, have the right to move freely and to reside in any part of the country.
“They also have a right to own property in any part of the country and enjoy the right of freedom from discrimination like any other citizen of the country.
“We call on the National Assembly to live up to their responsibility, because the inter-state movement of pastoralists is analogous to inter-state commerce, which is an exclusive preserve of the legislative powers of the National Assembly, under item 62 of the Exclusive Legislative List.
“To this effect, any action taken by a State Assembly is in conflict with above section of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.”
They continued: “We are calling on the AGF and Minister of Justice, Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives and our royal fathers to call the Benue State governor to order, as his actions and continuous threat to the leadership of the Fulani pastoralists is a serious threat to peaceful coexistence.
“That we appreciates the efforts being put in place by the federal and state governments in addressing the security challenges facing the Fulani pastoralists, particularly cattle rustling, kidnapping and banditry.
“That we totally condemn the attempt to profile the Fulani race and urge the press to investigate the veracity of their stories before going to press.
“Finally, we are appealing to President Muhammadu Buhari to call Ortom to order, as his actions are a fundamental threat to peaceful coexistence and food security in Nigeria.”
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