Miyetti-Allah Kautal Hore Fulani socio-cultural association has said the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, lack the legal right to deny its members from residing in Benue state.
The association said just as every Benue indigene has legal right to make its earnings and livelihood in the state, so is the pastoralist.
The Miyetti-Allah Kautal Hore Fulani socio-cultural group was reacting to the November 1 implementation date for the anti-grazing law.
National President of the association, Alhaji Abdullahi Bodejo, during a briefing at the weekend, in Abuja said the governor was deliberately promoting cattle rustling through the bill and denying members of the association of their freedom.
Bodejo, who accused the Governor of being bias further, denied allegations of causing unrest in the state and other plans to launch attacks on the people through no form of invasion.
He said contrary to claims that the law was to protect the pastoralist; he noted that there was no provision for the so called ranches except the intent to establish six detention centers, where seized or ‘arrested’ cattle would be kept and auctioned after seven days.
According to him, the governor’s claim that the state lost about N95 billion between 2012 and 2016 was also fictitious.
His words: “Firstly the Miyetti-Allah Kautal Hore is not a splinter of any other group. This is socio-cultural organisation and one can only be a Fulani man to be a member unlike other associations related to cattle rearing and sales which can accommodate anyone is as much as they are in cattle rearing or sales businesses.
“Also His Excellency Governor Samuel Ortom asking pastoralists to leave Benue State cannot happen. We have a mandate to speak on behalf of our members and their rights as Nigerians. How can a Nigerian ask other Nigerians to leave a place they are constitutionally entitled to be.”
He added that the association has members who are, “law abiding and have always been championing peace and amicable resolutions of conflicts between pastoralists and farmers. The records are there. This was why we went to the court over this matter rather than result to self-help.”