Socio-cultural groups in Benue State have rejected an alleged plan by the Miyeitti Allah Kauta Hore to establish a vigilance group in different states.
The groups, Mdzough U Tiv Worldwide, Ochetoha K’Idoma and Omi Ny’Igede, described the move as one with an evil intention, warning that they would resist attempts by the Fulani groups to violate the state’s anti-open grazing law.
In a joint statement made available to journalists in Makurdi weekend, leaders of the groups, Iorbee Ihagh, Air Vice Marshal Tony Adokwu (Retd.) and Ben Okpa, respectively, said the establishment of the state security outfit, Community Volunteer Guards, and the anti-open grazing law were not targeted at any group or tribe but aimed at protecting the lives and property of residents.
“We must strongly warn the Miyetti Allah group that Benue State Community Volunteer Guards, just like the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of the state, is a child of necessity which is not targeted at anyone but aimed primarily at the security of the people.
“We state unequivocally that Miyetti Allah’s desire to establish ‘their own vigilante’ as they have stated is the height of evil intention to reinforce their carnage in resisting Benue laws. For us, no such evil-intentioned vigilante by the Miyetti Allah will operate in Benue State,” the statement read in part.
The groups noted that every step taken by the state Governor, Samuel Ortom, to protect the lives and property of the people of the state had their support, and, therefore, dismissed the threat by the Fulani organisation to drag Ortom to the International Criminal Court of Justice in The Hague for what they claimed was an abuse of their rights and the seizure of 25,000 cows belonging to their members.
“Governor Ortom is fighting a just cause for our people and we are fully in solidarity with him as an attack on the governor is an attack on the entire Benue people who will never surrender their ancestral land to herdsmen jihadists on a conquest agenda.”