The Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, a Fulani socio-cultural association has petitioned the Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris, the Director-General Department of State Security (DSS) Lawal Musa Daura and the Sultan of Sokoto Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III over the Benue State anti-open grazing law.
The National Secretary of the association Engineer Saleh Alhassan said yesterday in Abuja that details of the law passed by the state assembly and recently signed by Governor Samuel Ortom was nothing but a ploy to dislodge the subsistence herdsmen from their business.
“There was nothing in the law for the welfare of pastoralist despite the claim to such effect. The law however provide for the auction of cattle seized within seven days. We all know the disturbing issue of cattle rustling and rural banditry with the Fulani herdsmen suffering great loses.
“Where would the new law place us? It means anyone can seize our means of livelihood in the name of anti-open graze law and auction them even if they were stolen in other states and brought to Benue. This is why we are formally notifying the authorities top come tom our aid,” Alhassan said.
He said their petition was also to correct the position of the Benue State Government who has called for the arrest of their leaders for defending their fundamental rights as Nigerians.
According to him, the association and other Fulani herdsmen groups are using the instruments of law and other necessary legal means enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution to challenge their profiling and deny them their rights.
He also wondered why the National Assembly is failing to live up to its billings under item 62 of the Exclusive Legislative list when the Grazing Reserve Bill was among others meant to ensure the workability of the existing 441 grazing reserves as contained in the 1965 law establishing the reserves in the north.
He also said that the Special Assistant to Benue State Governor on Fulani matters Garus Gololo, was not representing any Fulani interest and thus cannot speak for them especially on issue that have negative consequences on their existence.