Open-grazing law: Miyetti Allah tackles Ortom, demands creation of nomadic affairs ministry

The Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore Fulani Association has called for the establishment of a Ministry of Nomadic Affairs, with a mandate to broaden educational opportunities and address pastoralist challenges.

In a three-page communiqué issued Monday in Abuja, signed by its National President, Abdullahi Bodejo, and National Secretary, Mr. Saleh Alhassan, the socio-cultural group demanded the immediate designation, gazetting and development of all the 415 grazing reserves across the country.

The group lamented the recent massacre of Fulani pastoralists in Taraba state, calling on the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, to set up a high-powered panel to unmask those responsible for the dastardly acts and ensure justice is done to the victims’ families “to avoid people resorting to self-help”.

The group also tackled Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom, over his stance on the anti-grazing law, claiming “the governor had been using the law to officially confiscate and auction cattle belonging to Fulanis in Benue-Nasarawa and Benue-Taraba border communities.”

The communiqué reads in part: “The meeting called for the immediate designation, gazetting and development of all the 415 grazing reserves across the states of the Federation as the only first strategic step in addressing the challenges confronting Fulani herders in Nigeria. This will include building of earth dams and solar boreholes. Building of veterinary clinics. Development of dairy (milk) collection centres.

“The meeting dismissed the consistent claims of farmers-herders conflicts as a major setback of instability and insecurity in Nigeria. But rather the conflicts are exacerbated by activities of states sponsored vigilantes and tribal hordes who wilfully continue to carry out extra-judicial killings of Fulani pastoralists.

“The leadership of the association also condemned the continuous profiling of Fulani pastoralists by Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, through the anti-grazing law. It said the governor had been using the law to officially confiscate and auction cattle belonging to Fulanis in Benue-Nasarawa and Benue-Taraba border communities.”