Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore Socio-Cultural Organization has denied involvement of Fulani herdsmen in the recent killings that occurred in Kogi State.
National Secretary of the association, Engr. Salleh Al-hassan, who spoke during an interview at the Federal High Court, yesterday in Abuja alleged that Fulani people were murdered by members of Kogi State Vigilante groups for killings that were carried out by criminals.
He blamed the unlawful killings of Fulanis on unnecessary labelling of his members as being responsible for all insecurity cases in the country but his members were not involved in the Kogi killings.
He accused the media of unfair reportage stressing that Benue killings were allegedly perpetrated by political thugs to the Benue state Governor, Samuel Ortom.
Al-Hassan said: “They tag every form of insecurity now to the herdsmen. But when you go and look at the police report you won’t find it like that. Look at the recent incident in kogi, criminals killed vigilante leader and the following day youths that are members of the vigilante descended on Fulani people and started killing them and nobody is reporting that side of the story.
“The Fulani people are killed in every corner and because there is this gang up and media Propaganda profiling and stereotyping us.
“The issue of insecurity in Nigeria is largely the responsibility of government, they have failed to provide security particularly in the rural areas and some governors now have resulted to outsourcing our security to vigilante groups who are made up of criminals and political thugs.
They have now assumed a live of their own by killing people even their own. Most of the killings in Benue State were done by Gana who is a political tug that was working for Governor Samuel Ortom and he is still at large in spite of the police and military we have there.”
According to him, State Governors have taken advantage of Federal Government’s inability to provide security at rural areas stressing that it was outsourced to states to vigilante groups, allegedly made up of political thugs and other criminal elements.
He complained about the delay in the delivery of justice in the case between his organization and Benue State Government at the Federal High Court, which has lasted over a year.
The case was adjourned till 23rd May, 2018.
He claimed the delay in justice was handwork of wicked and desperate politicians citing Ortom as an instance.
According to him, the governor was attempting to take advantage of the farmers/herders crisis to secure his second-term bid.
“Why is Gana still at large and not arrested, he led the killings in Vandekia. Even the latest killing is attached to the militia he is leading. Today the livestock guard is headed by an Ali Tishako a retired Boko Haramist and not arrested up till now and the Governor is using him as head of livestock guard.
“Look at the number of killings they have done to the Fulani people, 727 in Mambila Plateau not a single person was arrested.
A local Government Chairman and Speaker of the Taraba State House of Assembly were fingered there and nobody was arrested. He is guilty of that massacre and he is still walking free. In Jere here they killed 87 Fulani people there and even in Numan. Nobody is arrested
“Today, one year now we took our case to the federal High court because we don’t like that law Ortom put in place, one year ago, we have not gotten justice. Somebody is deliberately trying to push the Fulani people into rebellion.
“I see it as an agenda by very wicked desperate politicians. Look at Governor Ortom 14 months without paying salaries and pensions and no single physical project. His only political project is to demonize the herders for him to get re-election. It is open, it is a propaganda they go and do ceremonial burials of empty caskets.” He added.
Earlier, President of the socio-cultural group, Bello Bodejo said the anti-grazing law of the Benue state was unfavorable to the herders but supported the cattle colony recommended by the federal government.
He noted that it would restore peace among farmers and herders.
“The federal government has many ways to address the problem. The anti-grazing law says they can’t sell land for Fulanis instead they will hire the land to Fulanis for one year. They can do the cattle colony and we will accept it.
We have our own practice like the cattle colony before now, but the difference is just the name given to it. We appeal to the federal government to give us cattle colony but we don’t need this anti-grazing law because it is not favorable to us.
“We have lost almost 40, 000 cattle. The problem is that the Fulani men do not have access to media, if they tell you what has happened to them you will just cry,” he added.