….urges FG to arrest leaders of group to assert its authority
By Peter Duru
The Benue state government, Wednesday said the recent media outing by the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, MAKH, is an indication that the group is in charge and dictating how the country is being governed.
The National Secretary of MAKH, Alhaji Alhassan Saleh had at a recent event in Nasarawa state said among others that state governments should be stopped by the federal government from implementing their grazing laws adding “MAKH totally condemns the continuous extortion and profiling of the Fulani pastoralists by Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue and we call on him to offer apology to the Fulani race.”
Addressing the media in Makurdi, the Benue state Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mrs. Ngunan Addingi urged the federal government to assert its authority by arresting the leadership of the group as they are “instigating violence through their utterances and outright disregard for constituted authorities.”
According to Mrs. Addingi “we came to this conclusion when we listened in disbelief how MAKH openly challenged constituted authorities across the states, demanding, not just the repeal of laws constitutionally enacted by the Houses of Assembly and assented to but making derogatory statements against State Governors who are duly elected by their various states.
“We see the open confrontation to constituted authorities by the leadership of MAKH as a subtle endorsement by the Federal Government. We therefore imlpore relevant agencies to step forward and act swiftly by arresting the leaders of this group as their utterances portend danger to the already fragile security in the country.
“It is our belief that the loud script on land grabbing for various programmes by the Federal Government like RUGA, Cattle Colony, Water resources Bill, Grazing Routes, Grazing Reserves and now to the proposed 108 farming centres across the senatorial zones in the country as well as the call for the review of the Land Use Act are programmes aimed at colonising the country in favour of Fulani.
“For us in Benue State, it is unacceptable. We will not be part of that programme. If the Federal Government has any form of intervention in the agricultural sector, this could be done through the states.
“But to come in disguise through all of these suspicious programmes will not be accepted to us in Benue. In Benue State, once you want to go into the business of rearing cattle, you must ranch because we don’t have room for open grazing or grazing routes. We will never accept that.”
The Commissioner reiterated that contrary to the opinion of presidential spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, Governor Ortom does not hate the President Muhammadu Buhari but prays for him just like he did in 2017 when three days fasting and prayers session was held for him when he was sick.
She said Governor Ortom as a patriot speaks the truth so “we are also taken aback how Governor Ortom is serially being profiled for hate just because he is patriotic enough to suggest permanent solutions to these various challenges.
“Prominent Nigerians have made similar calls on the President and suggested what should be done to end insecurity in this country. Not too long ago, the Emir of Muri in Taraba State even gave ultimatum to the Fulani in his domain to leave if they won’t stop killing his subjects but he was not criticised.”
“Just a few days ago, Governor Aminu Bello Masari confirmed our fears when he declared during a Channels TV interview that majority of those killing his people are Fulani. No word came from the presidency.
She stated that the Governor and the people would never hate the Fulanis “we love them; but we are against the terrorist Fulani invading our communities and killing innocent people in the name of cattle rearing. This is not acceptable here in Benue State.
“Now we ask, why is it so difficult to implement the recommendations of the National Livestock Transformation Plan despite its approval by the National Economic Council? The council took time to find out the lasting solution to this problem, yet, we watch how key actors in this country are playing politics with the lives of the people to soothe their interests.
“It is our firm belief that the federal Government has the capacity to end this insecurity. It should also show capacity to end armed banditry going on to show that they are not complicit in dealing with the security situation in the country. This country belongs to all of us and therefore the application of laws must be uniform.”