The Miyetti-Allah Kautal Hore Fulani has sought the urgent intervention of the Federal Government over what it described as ‘mass eviction’ and ‘criminal displacement’ of herdsmen in Benue state over the anti-open grazing law.
It would be recalled that the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, announced the prohibition of open grazing in the state, in a broadcast aired on November 1, to mark the commencement of the implementation of anti-open grazing law.
While addressing journalists in Abuja, on Wednesday, November 8, the National President of the association, Alhaji Abdullahi Bello Bodejo, expressed displeasure over Benue state’s anti-open grazing law.
He described it as an aberration which is against the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution that guarantees the rights of every Nigerian to live in any place or state of their choice.
According to him, the Benue controversy has led to displacement and suffering of innocent people who have become refugees in their country, hence the need for urgent and drastic intervention by the government.
Bodejo noted that reports from those displaced show they were on the move for three or more days without food and shelter.
“The Benue crisis is mass eviction and criminal displacement of Nigerians who have been put under undue pressure especially the children and the elderly among those displaced and migrating to neighbouring states and other places.
“We have the Benue State Government displacing innocent Fulanis and other pastoralists and Taraba State wanted to follow suit.
“What have Fulanis done to warrant this persecution? Does it mean that the Federal Government and President Muhammadu Buhari are not aware of this development or are they afraid of living up to their constitutional responsibilities?
“The Fulanis are law-abiding and we as Fulani leaders are trying our best to calm our people. However there is a limit to how long we will calm the people before they get tired and protest their persecution.”
He stressed that the case instituted by the association in the Federal High Court Abuja was an indication that the Fulanis are peaceful and law abiding.
The association’s president also called on the federal government to establish the National Grazing Reserve Commission as part of measures to bring lasting resolutions to the crisis.
“It is worrisome that thousands of cattle are being moved in undignified manners that endanger the lives of families and their only means of economic livelihood. The question is, where does the Benue Government want this displaced Nigerians to go to?” he asked.