The Threat By Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore to have a Showdown with states who implement open grazing law is already receiving reactions
The Benue State Government has sent a note of warning to Miyetti Allah groups and others who want its Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law repealed to stop daydreaming.
After the Lagos State government signed anti-grazing law the Benue State has come strongly on the group in a statement by the chief press secretary to the Governor Terver Akase stressed that the law has come to stay, and no amount of sponsored propaganda can compel the State Government to repeal it.
The State Government is reacting to recent utterances of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), National Secretary, Baba Usman Ngelzarma on Channels Television in which he described as failure, the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of Benue State.
While maintaining that Ngelzarma’s comments did not come to it as a surprise the Government says he is indeed one of those whose willful ignorance and misinterpretation of the law have fueled bitter emotions and hatred among pastoralists to embark on a killing spree of farmers in Benue State and other parts of the country.
“The MACBAN National Secretary is not new to contradictory statements. It is on record that he and other officials of the group visited Benue State in 2017 and after a meeting with Governor Samuel Ortom, addressed the media where they pledged support for the state’s Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law.
On that occasion, Ngelzarma who spoke on behalf of the delegation, admitted that with their deeper knowledge of the law during their visit to Benue, it was now obvious to MACBAN that the legislation was indeed not targeted at Fulani or any other group.
Their only appeal was for extension of the November 2017 deadline given for the commencement of implementation and enforcement of the law. “The Statement read in part.
He equally noted that the Miyetti Allah mouthpiece who now goes on national television to kick against the same law they once described as ‘a win-win for all’ only proves that he is a merchant of crisis and one of those bent on truncating the peace building process in Benue and other states of the federation.
Akase insist that the miyetti Allah’s anger towards the Governor is well understood as the Government expected the MACBAN National Secretary and his group to feel frustrated after the Governor refused to accept their offer to betray his people and repeal the law in order to attract personal favours from their sponsors.
He futher explained that Benue’s law on open grazing has recorded tremendous success since it was enacted and many people who own livestock in the state have ranched their animals, while over 400 law breakers have been arrested with some already tried by competent courts and convicted.
Akase maintained that the utterances of Miyetti Allah confirm what Governor Ortom has been saying all along that they are responsible for the killing of Benue people.
He also inferred that Miyetti Allah are sacred cows who are not only untouchable but who also enjoy the protection and patronage of their sponsors; otherwise, they should have since been proscribed and their members put behind bars.
The Governor’s spokesman ended with a question “what is responsible for similar killings in states which have no laws on open grazing such as Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara and Plateau? “