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‘Miyetti Allah’s position on anti-grazing law mischievous’


Members of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, protesting against Anti-Grazing Bill in Taraba State…. PHOTO: CHARLES AKPEJI

Three socio-cultural organisations have described as mischievous the call by leaders of the Miyetti Allah herders’ body asking President Muhammadu Buhari to call Governor Samuel Ortom to order over the enactment of the anti-open grazing law in Benue State.

The groups, Mzough-U- Tiv, Idoma National Forum and Omi-Ny Igede, in a statement yesterday in Makurdi by their leaders, Chief Edward Ujege, Amali Adoya Amali and Chief Enyi Ode, maintained that the piece of legislation was a product of the people brought into existence through their elected representatives to enthrone a lasting peace and ensure the security of their lives and property. 

Their words: “It is unfortunate that the leaders of Myetti Allah have deliberately chosen to use Ortom as a scape goat in their ethnic cleansing agenda in Benue State.“We state emphatically that the anti-open grazing law does not stultify the culture, movement or economic interests of any person or group of persons, including members of the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore Fulani Association.  That is why up till now, a good number of herders and other groups with good intentions still reside peacefully in the state.”

The groups expressed gladness that the state had been vindicated by the recent decision of the National Economic Council (NEC), chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, which endorsed ranching and directed that there should be no more open grazing of cattle in Benue, Plateau, Nasarawa, Kaduna and Taraba states.

They deplored the refusal of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to declare the killer herdsmen as terrorists and prosecute the leadership of the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore Fulani Socio-Cultural Association for embarking on “genocide and ethnic cleansing campaign of Benue people, particularly the Tiv race.”

They continued: “This open threat was actualised by the killing of 73 persons in Guma and Logo local government areas of Benue on January 1, 2018 and the subsequent murder of two Catholic priests and 17 others.”

The groups warned leaders of the herders’ association against the continued use of the law as an excuse to further perpetrate mayhem in the state. However, no fewer than five persons have killed at Mchia, a settlement in Logo council area by suspected herdsmen.

The armed marauders were said to have also in the early hours of Sunday ambushed, killed two and abduct some military personnel on patrol at Tseke village, a border town in same area.The council chairman, Richard Nyajo, who confirmed the incident, the herdsmen stormed the village around 9p.m. and opened fire on the people who were still trading.

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