In a swift reaction to recent killing of 2 catholic priests and worshippers in Benue State by alleged Fulani herdsmen among other killings, the Benue State Government has dragged the leadership of Miyetti Allah before the State High Court, Markurdi, on the allegations of murder and widespread violence across 14 out of the 23 local councils of the state.
According to Governor Ortom who briefed newsmen at the government house, the state government had in 2017 petitioned the Federal Government, as well as the heads of the police and the Department of State Service.
The Governor who faulted the alleged inaction of the security forces to arrest the group for purportedly threatening violence; an act he claimed resulted in the multiple deaths since 2018, also called for the arrest of the President of Miyetti Allah, Abdullahi Bodejo, and his secretary, Alhassan Saleh, who were accused of issuing the threats during a press conference in June 2017.
He concluded his statement by saying, he regrets the continued onslaught against his people from some armed herders.
Before the lawsuit, Mr Saleh had denied the allegation and distanced the association from the recent killings in the state, as he stated that they had warned the Benue State government against implementing the anti-open grazing law as it would generate a lot of confusion in the state.
“We told him (Ortom) that look; you can’t go by that way. The reality is that you cannot proscribe pastoralism overnight. It is going to be a process that has to encompass policies and programmes that would take a period of time.
“We have written to the government of Benue State, we have written to all the relevant security agencies, telling them why we are opposed to this law; but what His Excellency Governor Ortom did was to dismiss our organisation, claiming we don’t have members in Benue,” Saleh said during his appearance on Channels Sunrise Daily in January.