Why We Struck In Benue – Herdsmen
The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, the umbrella body of cattle breeders has attributed the killings of peasant farmers in Benue State to the stiff anti-grazing law of the state government.
The Secretary-General of the association, Usman Ngelzerma said in an exclusive interview that the law would have to be modified if peace must reign in Benue.
He said that the herdsmen did not just strike because of the law but that its enforcement had become a tool of extortion and harassment for the herdsmen.
He stated that the task force, empowered by the state government, who are the guards had consistently harassed his members to the extent that they seized over 1000 cows.
Ngelerma stated that the herdsmen were not bloodthirsty people as many had thought but peace-loving pastoralists.
He said that Governor Ortom is also a peace loving person but that he had been listening to wrong advice, which made him make a law without due consultation with all stakeholders.
He explained that the pastoralists were also traders and farmers like many other and that nobody could wake up to change their culture overnight.
“The anti-open grazing law in Benue State Government, aimed at regulating cow grazing in the state, must be modified for peace to reign in the state,” he said.