- The spokesperson for the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Ibrahim Ribeji, distances members of his group from carrying attacks in Benue state
- He urges the media to enlighten the public that the Fulani people can live in harmony with others because they are also human beings
- The Benue state government has fired back at those criticising the state governor, Samuel Ortom, on the way he handled the crisis in the state
The spokesperson for the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Ibrahim Ribeji, has said the attacks that occurred in some local governments in Benue state might have been carried out by persons impersonating herdsmen.
Ribeji made the statement in an interview with the Punch newspaper published on Saturday, January 13.
The spokesperson for the Miyetti Allah also distanced members of his group from carrying out any attack in Benue state.
Ribeji said: “Like I said earlier, in every society, there are bad elements. So, I will not totally blame our people. People might just be accusing them of doing it, when in actual fact, some persons could have impersonated them; dressed in Fulani attire and acted like them. It happened about two years ago. Don’t forget that it is not only Fulani that rear cattle. Sometimes, we nomads are being treated as if we are not Nigerians.”
He complained that people treat the Fulanis with disdain.
He urged the media to enlighten the public that Fulani people can live in harmony with others because they are also human beings.
Though, Ribeji noted that the anti-open grazing law may have contributed to the attacks in Benue state, he however, stated that it does not justify the attacks.
“It contributed to it because there is no local government or state in this country that has implemented that law. This is the first time we are seeing such a law. It does not justify the attacks; but like I said, some people may have been aggrieved with it. They did it and we don’t even know who they are," he noted.
Meanwhile, the Benue state government has reacted to a statement attributed to a group called Middle Belt Conscience Guard, which criticised the state governor, Samuel Ortom, on how he handled the crisis in the state.
NAIJ.com gathered that the group's convener, Prince Raymond Enero, and his deputy, Dr Paul Itodo, at a press conference in Abuja said that Governor Ortom's petition President
Muhammadu Buhari on the security situation in the state amounted to a blame game. The Benue state government however insists that the action of the governor was appropriate and constitutional.
The government stated this in a statement sent to NAIJ.com on Friday, January 12, by the special adviser to Governor Ortom on media and ICT, Tahav Agerzua.
Southern Kaduna killings: part 2 - on NAIJ.com TV