We read in today’s edition of This Day newspaper, another statement issued by Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore claiming that 10,000 herdsmen have been displaced while over 600 cows have died in Benue State since implementation of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law commenced on November 1.
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.
Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore’s insinuation that thousands of herders have been driven out of Benue with 600 cows dead 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 similarly hypocritical. Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore has in the last couple of months been drumming for war and threatening to mobilize 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.
The 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.
We wish to once more urge security agencies to, as a matter of urgency, apprehend officials of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore for questioning. Hundreds of Benue people have been killed by herdsmen in the last couple of years. Now that the Miyetti Allah group 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.
The Benue State Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law has come to stay and its implementation is ongoing without hitches. The law is here to protect both farmers and herdsmen and it is not enacted to witch hunt any group of persons or individuals.
We 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.
Chief Press Secretary.
November 25, 2017.