Fulani herdsmen in the mid-belt region of Nigeria face arrest for declaring they would disregard laws enacted to curb fatal clashes between the cattle breeders and villagers.
The Benue State Government gave the warning after the nomadic herders, under the auspices of the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, a Fulani socio-cultural association, dismissed the laws.
The President of the cattle breeders’ association, Alhaji Abdullahi Bello, described the Anti-Open Grazing Law as “wicked, obnoxious and repressive”.
He is quoted as saying the association would mobilize herdsmen in the country to resist the law as it was a deliberate attempt to enslave their members.
Benue Commissioner of the Ministry of Information and Orientation, Lawrence Onoja warned against such acts.
“The Benue State Government condemns the statements of these leaders of the association and their stand which amounts to open declaration of war on Benue State citizens.”
Onoja called on security agencies to arrest leaders of the association for prosecution for openly making “inciting” statements capable of breaching public peace and order.
“Benue State and its people are under threat,” says Onoja.
“We request the Federal Government to call Miyetti Allah and its leaders to order before they plunge the country into a conflagration which will be difficult to contain.”
Clashes between different groups of Fulani herders and farmers have killed thousands of people in Nigeria over the past two decades.
In the worst massacre in Benue, 300 people were killed in February.
– By ANA