By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja
One of the umbrella bodies of herdsmen in Nigeria, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, has called on security agencies to investigate Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, over alleged criminal profiling of its members.
The group made the accusation in a communique at the end of its expanded National Executive Committee, NEC, and State Chairmen meeting, in Abuja, yesterday.
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They also noted that “The meeting dismissed the consistent claims of farmers-herders conflicts as major setback of instability and insecurity in Nigeria.
“But rather the conflicts are exacerbated by activities of states’ sponsored vigilantes and tribal hordes who willfully continue to carryout extra judicial killings of Fulani Pastoralists
“The meeting noted with dismay the recent genocidal massacre of Fulani pastoralists in Taraba state and called on the Inspector General of Police to set up a high powered panel to unmask those responsible for the dastardly acts and ensure justice is done to the victims’ families to avoid people resorting to self help.”
While condemning alleged profiling of Fulani herders by Governor Ortom, the communiqué informed that “The meeting condemned the continuous profiling of Fulani pastoralists by the beleaguered Governor of Benue, Samuel Ortom through his anti-grazing law that he has been using to officially consficate and auction millions of cattle belonging to Fulanis in Benue- Nasarawa, Benue, and Benue-Taraba boarder communities.
“Consequently, we are calling on the security agencies to closely monitor the behavior of the Benue State governor because he is responsible for continuous conflicts in the Benue valley.”
The communiqué jointly signed by Abdullahi Bodejo (National President) and Saleh Alhassan (National Secretary), called for the establishment of Federal Ministries of Nomadic Affairs and Livestock Development to address the issues affecting herders in the country.
The group explained that while the Ministry of Nomadic Affairs would be mandated to broaden educational opportunities and address pastoralist challenges, the Ministry of Livestock Development would see to the full implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Plan, NLTP, before May 29, 2023.
It also called for the overhauling of Nigeria security and justice systems to address cases of injustices and access to justice by pastoralists.
The communique among others, reads, “The meeting called for the immediate Designation, Gazetting and Development of all the 415 grazing reserves across the states of the Federation as the only first strategic step in addressing the challenges confronting Fulani herders in Nigeria.
“This will include building of earth dams and solar boreholes, building of veterinary clinics, and development of diary (milk) collection centres.”
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