by AljazirahNigeria | January 5, 2018 1:36 pm
By Jonathan Ipaa, Abuja
Lawmakers representing Benue state at the National and State assemblies have called for the arrest, prosecution, and proscription of the leadership of the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore.
The lawmakers also appealed to the Federal Government to provide food, drugs, and essential humanitarian services to the displaced persons affected by the January Fulani herdsmen that have killed about 56 people.
A press conference jointly signed by the former governor, Sen. George Akume, former PDP national chairman, Sen. Barnabas Gemade, Rt. Hon. John Idyegh, Rt. Hon. Barr. Emmanuel Udende, Hon. Dickson Tarkighir and Hon. Barr. Benjamin Wayo condemned the killings which have sent over 5000 innocent lives to the graves in recent years.
The statement read, “It is sad and unfortunate to state that Benue state has experienced the highest number of attacks by Fulani herdsmen in the last few years due to the quest by Fulani herders to graze on farmlands that belong to Benue farmers. It is worthy to note that, hitherto, there were two groups of Fulani herdsmen that came to the state for grazing activities and were totally accepted by the people. It is heartbreaking to say that over 9 local governments in the state have greater portions of their communities sacked and occupied by Fulani herdsmen killing over 5000 people and destroying properties worth over billions of naira.”
“The events and figures are just a few of the unprovoked attacks on the peace-loving people of Benue state without a clear statement and action from the Federal Government. In recent times, the Benue people have begun to perceive the silence of the Federal authorities especially in the presence of the threats by the leadership of Miyyetti Allah Kautal Hore led by Alhaji Abdullahi Bello Bodejo and one Gololo representing the Benue wing of the association who vowed to invade and destroy Benue communities if the anti-open grazing law signed into law by the state is not reversed as a deliberate attempt to annihilate the people of the state.”
“With the above figures and “hate speeches” against the Benue state government and her people, it has become pertinent for us elected representatives of the peace-loving people of the state at the Senate, House of Representative and the State House of Assembly to condemn in strong terms this dastardly and unprovoked attacks on our electorates by Fulani herdsmen and to remind the federal government of the following:
“That Benue people are peace loving and have continued to seek peace with all her legitimate neighbours. We as representatives have also continued to prevail on our people not to take laws into their hands as we seek a permanent solution to the problem through dialogue as the Benue State government and federal elected representatives have officially presented this case personally to our President.”
The representatives reiterated that the purpose of every government is the protection of life and property and the reason the Benue State Government in a bid to protect her citizenry followed due constitutional process by passing into law; the anti-open grazing law.
They asserted that Benue state government and her people were not confronting the Federal Government or the Fulani herdsmen in a war, but only seeking a constitutional end to the perennial conflicts that have had devastating consequences on the overall development of the state by the implementation of the anti-open grazing law. The lawmakers also lamented that Benue state was grossly marginalized in national calculations under the present APC administration in areas of infrastructural provision including roads, rail, establishment of security formations and Federal appointments.
“Despite this, the people have not taken up arms against the Nigerian state as done in other segments of the country who are not only less in population but have contributed less in the Nigerian project.”
they urged the Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari who is loved by the Benue people to remember that Miyyetti Allah Kautal Hore led by Alh. Abdullahi Bello Bodejo publicly endorsed the former President Goodluck Jonathan against a fellow kinsman during the 2015 general elections. And it is the same group that has been allowed by the same government it fought against to cause high-level insecurity in the country against the people that supported the president without caution.
They demanded for the immediate arrest and prosecution of the leadership of Meyetti Allah Kautal Hore that had vowed to invade the state at the beginning of this year if the Anti-open grazing law legally passed and signed into law is not reversed.
“The Federal Government should establish a military base on the Nasarawa –Benue and Taraba Benue state border for quick response to threats by the herders and set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the persistent conflicts between the herders and farmers.
We also call for immediate set up of camps and send humanitarian assistance to the affected communities and compensate the affected communities. We also call for the establishment of the North Central Development Commission to address the plight in our land arising from the damage caused by the persistent conflicts between the herders and farmers. The federal government should proscribe Miyyetti Allah Kautal Hore as a terrorist group and treat it as such,” they concluded.
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