BY PETER DURU
MAKURDI – Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue and major stakeholders of the state have urged the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Ibrahim Idris and those kicking against the recently enacted Open Grazing Prohibition of the state to seek redress in court to canvass their position on the law.
Vanguard recalls that the IGP had at a forum last Wednesday, faulted the decision of state governments to outlaw open grazing in their respective states without developing ranch facilities.
They spoke Thursday in Makurdi, when members of the board of trustees and advisory council of the Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation led by the former governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu paid a condolence visit on the government and people of the state over the new year day killings by suspected herdsmen that claimed over 73 lives in Logo and Guma local government areas of the state.
According to Chief Abu Shuluwa, a second class Chief and Tor Sankera, the recent day activities of Fulanis herdsmen negated the ideals which the late Sardauna of Sokoto and the first Premier of the Northern Nigeria region stood for.
“Benue cannot remain with the north if the north continues to kill us. We are surprised that nobody is talking in the north about the killings in Benue. But let me say this, the Tivs have never been conquered by Fulanis and they will never be conquered.”
On his part, the chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN in the state, Rev. Akpen Leva, wondered why the IGP whose responsibilities included the enforcement of laws supposedly took sides with the Miyetti Allah who had consistently wrecked havoc in the state.
“With what we see happening currently, it is obvious that the federal government is acting the script of Miyetti Allah. We are disappointed with the federal government because of its posture. These happenings are a grand plan to Islamise the country, because the attacks are targeted at Christian dominated areas.
“The development is dangerous to the development of this country as it affects its unity. There is a hidden agenda in what is happening, unless they want this country to cease to exist because once you do away with Benue that is the end of Nigeria.”
Also speaking, Governor Ortom maintained that the law had come to stay, stressing that “if the Inspector General of Police has any personal grouse with the law which met every constitutional requirement before it was signed into law, he has the option of seeking legal action.”
Several others who spoke at the meeting, lampooned the federal government for its nonchalance over the killings in the state.
Earlier, while condoling the government and people of the state over the killings, former Governor Aliyu said the foundation would always stand for the principles of justice and equity that once kept the northern region as one.
Former Governor Gabriel Suswam who is also a member of the organisation sympathised with the people, assuring that everything would be done to paint the true picture of the situation in Benue state to the relevant authorities.
Retired Justice Mamman Nasir, who is the chairman of the advisory council of the foundation condoled with the people and called for peace in all parts of the country.