Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, has called for the arrest and prosecution of the National President of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore (MAKH), Abdullahi Bodejo for alegedly making inciting statements capable of breaching the peace of the country.
Ortom was reacting to a statement credited to Bodejo where he said: “You are a governor and you want to enjoy peace in your state, you don’t need any long meeting, just create a particular area for the Fulani and equip them with modern amenities.”
Governor Ortom, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, called for the arrest and prosecution of the MAKH’s president for threatening governors who would not donate lands for cattle colonies with war saying the statement was capable of stirring crises in the country.
Ortom alleged that Bodejo’s statement was a pointer to Miyetti Allah’s attacks on farming communities in parts of the country and its determination to reject any method of animal husbandry that did not agree with nomadic cattle breeding.
“We have read with shock the statement in some dailies credited to Abdullahi Bodejo in which he threatened that governors who refuse to establish cattle colonies, also known as Ruga settlements, will not know peace in their states.
“The Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore’s outing has confirmed the fact that the group is not only responsible for attacks on farming communities in parts of the country, but are poised to sponsor violence in states not willing to donate land for open grazing.
“Utterances such as those of Bodejo are inciting and direct invitation for anarchy. No group should be above the law to be dictating to states how to accord preferences to it at the expense of other Nigerians.
“We call for the arrest and prosecution of the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore President for persistently making statements capable of stirring crises in the country,” Ortom said.
On allegation that he was playing politics with the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law to win sympathy and gain advantage, Governor Ortom said the statement was a prelude to another round of attacks on Benue communities by herdsmen.
“Bodejo also accused Governor Ortom of killing Fulani pastoralists and demanded that the governor apologises to them. The Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore President vowed that Fulani will never allow the Benue State law on ranching to stand.
Ortom noted that it was the same manner the group threatened in May 2017 (a few days after the state signed the ranching law) that they would mobilise their members across West Africa to invade Benue and resist implementation of the legislation.
“They carried out their threat on the eve of 2018 new year when their armed militia murdered 73 innocent persons, destroyed property worth millions of naira and displaced over 500,000 people in Guma and Logo local government areas.
“As a state, Benue will not take the current threat by Miyetti Allah lightly. The law of the land is sacrosanct and must be obeyed by everyone. Any individual or group who wants to breed animals in the state should be prepared to ranch them.
“Nigerians irrespective of place of origin and ethnicity who wish to do lawful business in Benue are encouraged to do so as government is willing to collaborate with investors in different sectors of the economy,” Ortom said.