National President of Miyetti Allah, Alhaji Bello Bodejo, has said that He Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, should be blamed for innocent lives lost in Benue. Saying that the crisis between the Tiv and Fulani in the state was aggravated by the enactment of the anti-open grazing law, he called for a repeal of the law.
Bodejo explained “The major problem in Benue remains the law enacted by Ortom, preventing our fundamental rights enshrined in the constitution of Nigeria and the Africa Charter that provide freedom of movement anywhere within and outside the country. The law is clearly against the cultural interest and business nature of a Fulani man who is a Nigerian and more concerned about the survival of his cattle
According to him “A Fulani man will always want to be on the move, to look for greener pastures and water for his animals anywhere and everywhere, as guaranteed by the constitution. But when you look at the law in Benue, it is clearly dissonant to our interest and survival as Fulani people, especially Article Nine of the law, which says anybody interested in ranching will only be authorized for one year’’.
He maintained that the danger of the anty-open grazing law has made the group approach Federal High Court in Abuja. Adding that governor Otom had consistently threatened with security agencies.
Benue state governor Samuel Ortom decried rumour that he owns armed militias saying that the allegation is from blackmailers seeking to derail the anti-grazing law.
Meanwhile, the Sultan of Sokoto and President of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III exonerated the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) saying they are not responsible for the wave of killings by herdsmen across the country. The leader, however, condemned the killings in Taraba, Benue and other states of the federation, describing it as a criminal act that must be condemned.