Incitement: Benue Governor orders arrest of Fulani herdsmen chieftains


By Wale Akinola

The Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom has ordered the security agencies to arrest Fulani herdsmen chieftains for allegedly making inciting statements capable of breaching public peace and order. reports that this was made known in a statement signed by the state Commissioner of Information and Orientation, Lawrence Onoja jnr, said while reacting to a media publication by the Miyetti Allah, Kautal, a Fulani socio-cultural association to reject the Open Grazing Prohibition and Establishment of Ranches Law signed by Governor Ortom
Mr. Onoja said that the National Secretary of the Association Engr. Saleh Alhassan, sought to justify the reprehensible, irresponsible and criminal destruction of lives and properties in Benue state on the grounds that the Fulani herdsmen are the original inhabitants of the Benue Valley. He said: “The Government calls on the Security Agencies to arrest these leaders of the Association for prosecution for openly making inciting statements capable of breaching public peace and order. Benue state and its people are under threat. We request the Federal Government to call Miyetti Allah and its leaders to order before they plunge the country into a conflagration which will be difficult to contain.
Meanwhile, had previously reported that Governor Samuel Ortom on Monday, May 22, assented the bill prohibiting open rearing of animals and grazing into law in the state. “We call on all Nigerians to stand up and condemn the threat of Miyetti Allah. Our legitimate contribution to the resolution of herdsmen and farmers crises should be appreciated because the clashes between farmers and herdsmen remain one of the most protracted problems across our country. To be sure, the threat by Miyetti Allah is not only for Benue but for all states that have or will have farmers and herdsmen crisis.
“The Miyetti Allah however, exposed their open disregard for constituted authority by vowing to mobilize herdsmen in the country to resist the law. These comments in our estimation are treasonable as they amount to threats to disobey the law and is therefore a recipe for anarchy and threats to the peaceful existence of not just Benue state but Nigeria in general.
“Why would an association which considers itself as partners in progress describe peaceful attempts at conflict resolution as decimation? From its own account, it appears as if the Miyetti Allah Socio-cultural Group is always hostile to peaceful efforts at resolving these unfortunate clashes with farming communities over grazing land.
“The Government of Benue state restates its commitment to finding peaceful and legal means of resolving all conflicts within its domain and commends the Benue State House of Assembly for courageously standing on the side of law and order and for being true Representatives of our people in the speedy manner it passed the Bill into Law.”
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