The association claiming to control herdsmen, Miyetti Allah, rustled feathers on Tuesday when its leader asked the senate president to resign now or face force, but this has attracted the expected reaction. It has come from the chief press secretary to Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, Terve Akase, who asked if the association was now the group ruling Nigeria.
The group had shocked the nation by giving an ultimatum to Saraki to resign or face force. The group also made remarks that showed they would not tolerate anyone giving the president disturbance. Some of those who have so far reacted on social media said open support by Miyetti Allah does bring any electoral fortune to the person. This may be because of the bloodshed associated with Miyetti Allah in the middle belt, especially in Benue State.
Now, the Benue State government seems to latch on that window and has created a link between the presidency and the association.
We read with shock, statements credited to one Garus Gololo of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association demanding the resignation of Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and we find it strange that many hours after such inciting comments, the man who spoke on behalf of the group has not been invited by security operatives for questioning. The association asked the Senate President to resign or it will force him out of office. What an insult to democracy!
It is becoming clear by the day that Miyetti Allah groups have not only assumed the position of the ruling party but are also influential to decisions of governance in this country.
What constitutional right does the group have to spew invectives on the person and office of the Senate President without being arrested? Are security agencies sending a signal to Nigerians that Miyetti Allah groups are above the law and therefore untouchable?
This is not the first time that Miyetti Allah associations have made inflammatory statements. The other time, the groups held press conferences and threatened to unleash terror on Benue people. They made real their threats and came out to claim responsibility for the killing of over 500 innocent Benue people between January and this month. They followed their gory act with threats of more bloodshed in Benue till the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law is suspended.
The Benue State Government wrote several petitions alerting the country’s security chiefs. Yet, nothing was done and to this day, no Miyetti Allah leader has been invited by security agencies for interrogation.
The boldness and authoritative tone with which leaders of Miyetti Allah associations speak on affairs of the nation leave us wondering if the speculation is true, that they plan to turn Nigeria to a ‘Cow Republic’.
Miyetti Allah and the All Progressives Congress (APC) now sound like one association with similar objectives. Nigerians should compare the tone of APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, when he threatened that the party would force Senator Saraki out of office if he failed to resign and the latest threat by Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association to forcefully evict Senator Saraki from office. The words are similar, the motive the same and the agenda also one.
What is the source of Miyetti Allah groups’ authority to make statements injurious to the very soul of this country that no one seems to be calling them to order? Who is behind the Miyetti Allah groups, and what is the person’s mission?
We urge Nigerians to reject this attempt to turn the country into a republic where the life of a cow has greater value than that of a human being. This level of impunity is not healthy for the nation. For democracy to be successful, it must be anchored on the rule of law.
On Miyetti Allah’s attacks against Governor Ortom in the same media report, we are no longer surprised as the groups have never hidden their obsession with the Governor’s name. No day passes without the said groups coming out with one publication or the other against the Governor.
The sad news for them is that Governor Ortom won’t bow to intimidation and harassment from them or any other person. The Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law which they hate so much has come to stay and anyone who intends to breed livestock in Benue should be prepared to ranch the animals.
ORTOM CALLS FOR REHABILITATION OF KATSINA-ALA BRIDGE
Governor Samuel Ortom has appealed to the Federal Government to rehabilitate the Katsina-Ala bridge as soon as possible.
The Governor has directed the Benue State Ministry of Works, Transport and Energy to liaise with the Federal Director of Works in the state to commence immediate work.
The Governor says though the bridge is a federal project, the State Government will intervene and repair it for the benefit of millions of Benue people who ply the road on a daily basis if it gets approval to do so.
He states that the ongoing rehabilitation of township roads in Makurdi will soon be extended to other towns of the state.
The Governor thanks the people for their appreciation of the ongoing rehabilitation of roads in Makurdi and for drawing the attention of relevant agencies to the challenges confronting the state.
He reassures the people of the state that his administration will continue to address their needs in various sectors of the economy within available resources.
(Source: Terver Akase, Chief Press Secretary)