Defend nation’s constitution, CSO tells Nigerians, seeks proscription of herders’ body
During a press briefing presided over yesterday in Makurdi by Dr. Sam Abah, the group noted that the herdsmen had succeeded in twisting the nation’s constitution “to accommodate criminality and lawlessness as evident in the ongoing killings across Nigeria without being apprehended or prosecuted.”
MAFO accused Miyetti Allah of being the mastermind of the unrest, just as it said that the recent killings in Benue State were carefully planned, coordinated and supervised by prominent Nigerians. It warned that the herders’ body was heading the Federal Government towards a piece mill coup and a lawless society.
According to the group, the Benue government followed due process in the enactment of the anti-open grazing law and even gave a six-month grace for inputs.
It wondered why the herders’ association refused to make contributions while the period lasted, adding: “Miyetti Allah is plotting a coup against the federation and they are executing the plot state by state.
“A phenomenon is going on now in the rise of an ethnic group that has no regards for the law. The killings therefore are not acts of aggrieved herdsmen, but the handiwork of well-trained, well-paid, well-armed gangs/militia terrorists that act as a standing army of invasion, sponsored by the elite to wage war across Nigeria, particularly Benue State.
“Again, the terrorists and their sponsors are not foreigners from Mali, Chad, Niger, Libya and Senegal. Rather, the murderers are Nigerians sponsored by Nigerians to kill and destroy Nigeria.”
MAFO called on President Muhammadu Buhari to declare Miyetti Allah a terrorist group proscribe it, insisting that there was no going back on implementation of the Benue’s grazing law nor would it be modified as canvassed by the herders’ body.
However, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Unity Peace Initiative for the Survival of the Society, says the killings were a ploy to distract the President, especially the ongoing anti-corruption crusade of his administration.
The group insisted that the government had shown zero tolerance to corruption and terrorism besides the provision of good governance.
Addressing newsmen in Awka yesterday, the group’s national convener, Dr Ugochukwu Okafor, urged Buhari not to lose focus in his bid to reposition the country for sustainable development.
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