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Thursday, 8 June 2017

Resistance To Anti-Open Grazing Law: We’ll Defend Ourselves If FG Fails Us - Benue Leaders

The leadership of the three major ethnic groups in Benue State—Mdzough U Tiv, Ochetoha K’Idoma and Onmiyi Igede— have charged the people to defend themselves and resist any attempt by members of Mayetti Allah Kautal Hore to invade the state over the state’s Open Grazing Prohibition Establishment Law, 2017, popularly called Anti-Open Grazing Law.

 The call was sequel to a media briefing by the leadership of Mayetti Allah Kautal Hore, which urged its members to resist the law.

At a briefing yesterday in Makurdi, the leaders of the socio-cultural groups, led by Chief Edward Ojege, President General Mdzough U Tiv, threw their weight behind Governor Samuel Ortom and the new law, urging all the communities in the state to form vigilante groups to ensure peaceful co-existence in the villages.

Amnesty international’s investigation 

Meanwhile, the Association of Southern Taraba Professionals has thrown its weight behind Amnesty International’s decision to investigate the killings resulting from clashes between farmers and herdsmen in Southern Taraba State.

The professionals, also called G-20 Club, said yesterday in Abuja that Amnesty International’s investigation remained the most potent means of unearthing “the unreported atrocities of herdsmen on farming communities in the area.”

Engr. Yakubu Audu, President of the Club, described the action as “timely and commendable” and that it would “afford the world the opportunity of appreciating the enormity of carnage that has been perpetuated by the grazers in the area, which were hitherto not reported.” He said the probe will expose those behind the atrocities, as the organisation was independent.

According to Audu, “farmers in Takun, Ussa and Donga Local Government areas were forced to abandon their farms following attacks by invading herdsmen.

 “Apart from about 20 lives that were lost recently, the inability of surviving farmers to return to their farms and continue with crops planting will result to famine at the end of the year.” 

While commending the state government and other sons and daughters of the area for coming to the aid of the displaced victims, he wondered what role the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, is playing over the fate of displaced people.

 … if FG fails us… 

On the anti-open grazing bill, Benue ethnic groups’ leaders leaders said:

 “All Benue ethnic groups also take exception to the characterisation of the Anti-Open Grazing Law by the leadership of the Mayetti Allah Kautal Hore as ‘wicked, obnoxious and repressive’. 
“There is neither historical, archaeological nor anthropological evidence to indicate that the Fulani ever inhabited the Benue Valley at any time before the advent of the Benue people. 
“The recent claim by Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore that they were in the Benue Valley before the our people is not only ridiculous, but also a lie concocted to support a desperate and diabolical claim on our ancestral lands.  
“We are ready to resist this aggression with all the legitimate means that we can mobilise.  
“We will not attack anyone, but if our people are attacked they will have to defend themselves. If the Federal Government cannot protect us, we will protect ourselves.”

Source: Vanguard

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