Following persistent attacks on villages by suspected Fulani herdsmen, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has stated that over one million, five hundred thousand (1,500,000) residents of the state have been evicted from their ancestral homes.
The governor, who has been at odds with President Muhammadu Buhari over the latter’s incapacity to address the security threat in the state and elsewhere in the country, has accused the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders’ Association of being responsible for killings across the country.
Ortom claimed during a press conference in Makurdi, the state capital, that Miyetti Allah had pledged to continue the onslaught until his administration repeals its anti-open grazing law, which was implemented in 2017 in the aftermath of conflicts between herders and farmers.
He said, “I watched with dismay yesterday the utterance of Myetti Allah, an association confronting government. It is not just the state government that they are after, they are also confronting the Federal Government.
“But unfortunately, the presidency will not come out to condemn or say anything concerning what the Miyetti Allah has said because it is part of them.
“It is unfortunate, our people are dying, we have over 1.5 million Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in Benue State and Miyetti Allah are coming out to claim responsibility for the killings and the pains that our people are going through. Then you will be telling me to keep quiet and not talk about it?
“Miyetti Allah has come out to say that if we don’t repeal our law, we will not know peace. Where are the security men? Where is the Federal Government? Why are they not arresting this killer group?
“This evil agenda that the Miyetti Allah has in collaboration with the Federal Government is not accepted. I commend the security agencies in Benue State, you have been doing your best in the State”.