Benue youths under the umbrella body of Tiv Youth Organisation, TYO, have said the 2023 general elections is about the survival of Benue state and they will only vote for candidates who will protect them from herders attacks.
This decision was contained in the statement signed by the President General, Tiv Youth Organization TYO, Worldwide, Comr. Timothy Hembaor, where he said: “2023 is about our survival as Benue people and we will only vote for candidates who have shown the readiness to protect us from our enemies”
The Benue youth group also frowns at the demand by the Miyetti Allah that a ministry of nomadic be created for them, stating that it is an affront on the sensibilities of other Nigerians.
The statement reads: “Tiv Youth Organization, TYO, views with serious concern, the utterances of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore which are in cahoots with those made earlier by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who said he is angry with Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom for profiling Fulani. Atuku further impliedly stated that until Fulani are integrated into Benue communities that “they would be obligated to reciprocate the love and acceptance”.
“Such insensitive comments coming from someone who is seeking to be President of this country is evident that Atiku will be Fulani president if elected. Nigeria will be doomed to have another enthnic bigot to succeed Muhammadu Buhari.
“But Atiku is not alone in his blame-the-victim mission against our people. Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Senator George Akume who is a Benue son is one of those ably supporting the Fulani occupation agenda. He has at different times accused our people of killing themselves. Akume’s statements sought to exonerate killer herdsmen from any blame. He and others who hold the same narrative have sold their state for a pot of porridge.
“Another patron of the violent pastoralists is former Bauchi State Governor, Isa Yuguda who has also accused Governor Ortom of profiling Fulanis. He supported the creation of cattle routes across the length of this country as a solution to the attacks.
“We want Yuguda to know that we are very much aware of their evil plot against Benue State and the plot has already failed. There is no land for open grazing in Benue State. His comments against Governor Ortom have confirmed the fact that the enemies have indeed marked the Governor for victimization.
“Enemies of Benue State, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore a few days ago called on security agencies to investigate Governor Ortom for “profiling their members”. The audacity of the group which sometimes dares security agencies is disturbing and sends a signal that someone somewhere is beating the drum for their killer dance. It is so irksome and goes to show the contempt and arrogance of the Fulani establishment to the impunity they have unleashed on the Nigerian polity.
“The Fulani establishment is angry and desperate because Samuel Ortom as governor has taken his job seriously. He has offered a robust and stiff defence of his people. And he has been civil and procedurally correct. The Governor offered a legal framework which the herdsmen rejected.
“When Governor Samuel Ortom signed Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law, Fulani socio-cultural groups vowed to oppose the law by mobilizing Fulani in all West African countries in droves into Benue State to take over the territory.
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“A report in the Nation newspaper of Wednesday May 31st, 2017, page quotes Cattle Breeders Association under the aegis of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore as kicking against the Benue State law on the grounds that they were the original inhabitants of the Benue Valley.
“National Secretary of the group, Engr. Hassan Salleh, while addressing the press conference argued that the lingering crisis spearheaded by herdsmen was a struggle for the state’s natural resources.
“Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore made real their threats on 1st January 2018, when they attacked Guma and Logo LGAs. As a consequence of the attacks, 73 bodies of the unarmed victims, including children as well as old men and women not just murdered and burchered in their sleep, were recovered and given mass in Makurdi on 11th January, 2018.
“Two days later, the Fulani Nationality Movement (FUNAM) issued a statement signed by Badu Salisu Ahmadu and Umar Amir Shehu, after a meeting in Kano, claiming responsibility of the attacks.
“The Sun Newspaper of 13th January 2018, reported that barely 48 hours after the mass burial of the 73 victims of the herdsmen attacks in Benue State, the National Vice President of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Husaini Yusuf Bosso, warned that more blood will be shed in the state if the law was not scrapped.
“On Saturday, 20th March, 2021, Governor Samuel Ortom narrowly escaped assassination attempt on the way back from his farm, near Tyo-Mu. That same day, the Fulani Nationality Movement (FUNAM), issued a statement claiming responsibility. The statement that was signed by Umar Amir Shehu for the group maintained unequivocally that FUNAM carried out the attempted assassination on behalf of millions of Fulani people in 15 countries.
“How the herders think their cattle and other livestock are more important than the people whose lands they desecrate and kill is shocking! They also claim that the Benue Valley belongs to them. This vision of the Fulani establishment considers the crops planted by the people who live in the Benue Valley as fodder for Fulani livestock. They go about with sophisticated weapons and kill with reckless abandon those who they think stand in their way.
“They have turned the Benue Valley into a vast area of displaced people as most of the rural folks have abandoned their land to stay in refugee camps. Only recently, it was reported that the Fulani bandits attacked a refugee camp.
“In the face of the above indisputable facts, who has constituted a security threat in this country?
“It was the Ranching law of Benue State which offered a credible alternative for livestock, but the Fulani vowed never to respect the law even as the legislation has been adopted by all states of the federation.
“The killings have remained consistent, and Governor Ortom has made the matter an international event by reporting the pogrom to the European Union, the British parliament and even to the United States government as well as the United Nations.
This is after the government of Mohammadu Buhari refused to come to the aid of the state but has rather joined the Fulani by turning a blind eye to their atrocities.
“Ortom’s government recently established the Community Volunteer Guards to respond appropriately to the Fulani massacre but the federal government of Buhari is refusing to permit the use of arms by the Volunteer Guards which is rather frustrating.
“The Fulani have demanded that the Federal Government should create a Ministry of Nomadic Affairs. This is an affront on the sensibilities of other Nigerians.
“It is the position of the Tiv Youth Organization TYO, that no one should create a ministry of nomadic affairs nor a ministry of livestock development to pamper the pastoralists.
“This country belongs to all Nigerians. Miyetti Allah are not above the law. We call for their investigation and possible arrest.
“Lastly, we want to warn political parties in the country and their candidates that 2023 is about our survival as Benue people and we will only vote for candidates who have shown the readiness to protect us from our enemies. Any candidate who has no regard for us or is romancing with our enemies should forget our votes.”