….Say group‘ll account for crime against humanity in Benue, Nigeria
By Peter Duru, Makurdi
The Benue Youth Forum, BYF, has dismissed threat by Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, MAKH, a Fulani socio-cultural group, to take Governor Samuel Ortom before the International Criminal Court at The Hague, saying it would amount to an exercise in futility.
The forum, however, assured MAKH that the crime against humanity committed by armed herders in Benue State and other parts of the country would not go unpunished in due time.
It will be recalled that the National Secretary of MAKH, Alhassan Saleh, had, in a recent media outing, alleged that Governor Ortom seized 25,000 of their cows and arrested 400 of their members without cause, vowing that they would take the governor to the ICC for prosecution.
Briefing the media, yesterday, in Makurdi, the President of BYF, Terrence Kuanum, among others, said: “It is common knowledge that there is a law prohibiting open grazing in Benue state. When the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of the state was enacted in 2017, the leadership of Miyetti Allah addressed a press conference and threatened to resist the legislation violently.
“The group’s National President, Abdullahi Bodejo and National Secretary, Saleh Alhassan, said they were going to mobilize Fulani herders from across West Africa to invade Benue state and ensure that the law was not enforced, as they said Benue land belonged to them.
“The bill which was assented to by Governor Ortom in May 2017 came into effect on November 1st of the same year. Immediately following the enforcement of the law, the herdsmen intensified attacks on Benue communities, killing hundreds of people, and displacing millions who are still in Internally Displaced Persons, IDP camps.
“The height of it was the massacre of 73 people on the 31st of December, 2017 and 1st January, 2018 in Guma and Logo Local Government Areas of the state. Barely 48 hours after the mass burial of the 73 victims of the herdsmen attacks in Benue, the National Vice President of Miyetti Allah Cattle Herders Association, Husaini Yusuf Bosso, warned that more blood will be shed in the state if the law prohibiting open grazing introduced by Governor Ortom was not completely scrapped.”