- The former coordinator of the Benue State chapter of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Garus Gololo, on Sunday, said that Fulani herders are very much angry with the outgoing Governor of the State, Samuel Ortom for chasing them out of the state.
Gololo who is a Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC)
further stated that the Governor systematically enacted the anti-open grazing law and used the same law to forcefully eject all Fulani herdsmen out of the state, and prevented them from carrying out what he termed ‘their legitimate business of cattle grazing’, a development he said, may have triggered the sustained attacks on Benue communities.
Gololo who stated this in a telephone chat with our correspondent in Makurdi, accused Governor Ortom of being behind the killings in the state as a result of his decision to chase Fulanis away by waging a relentless battle against them and their pattern of cattle rearing, claiming that Fulanis have lost thousands of livestock owing to the activities of members of Livestock Guards.
“Ortom enacted anti-open grazing law and on several occasions, he would send his people to arrest Fulani herdsmen, impound their cows and when they bailed themselves and paid fines for their cows to be released, as soon as the cows are released, Ortom would still send his boys to bombard them.
“Ortom knows nothing more than attacking Fulani. He even forgot about governing the state, that’s why his only achievement is chasing Fulani up and down.
“It should be on record that Fulani herdsmen are not happy that they were chased out of the state under Governor Ortom’s administration.
“I want to advise that, the incoming Governor should call for a meeting of the displaced people in their communities and the Fulani herdsmen for a dialogue so that these killings can stop, hence most of these Fulanis are from Benue, born and brought up in Benue just like every other Tiv person. I believe in Father Alia because he is a man of God and cannot run away with Benue money to anywhere. His promise to do reconciliation is the best.”
The APC stalwart expressed joy that Governor Ortom would soon leave office.
“To me personally, I am happy that Ortom lost his senatorial election. Benue did the best elections more than ever. Last time, they were shaming George Akume that they have retired him, Benue people have also retired Ortom too”, Gololo stated.
He thanked the people of Benue for voting for the incoming Governor, Father Hyacinth Alia whom he said has a friendly disposition and gave assurance that Fulani pastoralists would be willing to support the next administration in the state as far as their safety is guaranteed.