Benue Governor Accuses Miyetti Allah of Inciting Public Over Refusal to Betray His People - Penangle | News Portal in Nigeria
Tue. Jun 18th, 2024
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Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has accused the leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) of inciting the members of the group against him for his refusal to accept their offer to him to betray his people and repeal the anti-open grazing law of the state.

In a statement issued on Saturday by Governor’s media aide, Terver Akase, in response to the outbursts of MACBAN’s National Secretary,  Suleiman Ngelzarma on a live TV programme, the Governor said Miyetti Allah’s anger was due to his refusal to repeal the law.

“The anger towards Governor Samuel Ortomi’s is well understood. We expected the MACBAN National Secretary and his group to feel frustrated after the Governor refused to accept their offer to betray his people and repeal the law to attract personal favours from their sponsors.

“Ngelzarma’s comments did not come to us as a surprise. He is indeed one of those whose willful ignorance and misinterpretation of the law have fuelled bitter emotions and hatred among pastoralists to embark on a killing spree of farmers in Benue State and other parts of the country.

“The MACBAN National Secretary is not new to contradictory statements. It is on record that he and other officials of the group visited Benue State in 2017 and after a meeting with Governor Samuel Ortom, addressed the media where they pledged support for the state’s Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law.”

“On that occasion, Ngelzarma who spoke on behalf of the delegation admitted that with their deeper knowledge of the law during their visit to Benue, it was now obvious to MACBAN that the legislation was indeed not targeted at Fulani or any other group. Their only appeal was for an extension of the November 2017 deadline given for the commencement of implementation and enforcement of the law,” the statement explained.

The statement added that for the Miyetti Allah’s mouthpiece to go to national television to kick against the same law they once described as ‘a win-win for all’ only proves that he is a merchant of crisis and one of those bent on truncating the peace-building process in Benue and other states of the federation.

It further stated that Benue State’s law on open grazing has recorded tremendous success since it was enacted.

“Many people who own livestock in the state have ranched their animals, while over 400 lawbreakers have been arrested with some already tried by competent courts and convicted,” the statement said.

The statement insisted that the utterances of the Miyetti Allah’s scribe confirmed what Ortom had been saying all along that they were responsible for the killing of the people of the state.

“Miyetti Allah members are sacred cows, who are not only untouchable but who also enjoy the protection and patronage of their sponsors; otherwise, they should have since been proscribed and their members put behind bars.

“Miyetti Allah groups have not hidden their evil agenda. They threaten farming communities and carry out such threats leaving hundreds dead, yet, they dare to go to television studios and heap insults on victims of their carnage.

“The question Ngelzarma and others who blame herdsmen’s attacks and killings in Benue State on the law fail to answer is: What is responsible for similar killings in states which have no laws on open grazing such as Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara and Plateau?

“Lastly, we must make it clear to Miyetti Allah groups and others who want Benue to repeal the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law to stop daydreaming. The law has come to stay, and no amount of sponsored propaganda can compel the state government to repeal it,” the statement explained.

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