The Benue state government, Wednesday, expressed shock at the statement credited to a leading member of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, MACBAN, Garus Gololo, who demanded that the the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, resign his position or be forced out of office.
The government also added that the government and people of the state would not bow to intimidation and harassment from Miyetti Allah groups or any other person over the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law which had come to stay.
In a reaction to the assertion by Gololo, the Chief Press Secretary, CPS, to Governor Samuel Ortom, Mr. Terver Akase queried why the sources of the statement had not been invited for questioning by security agencies wondering if Miyetti Allah had assumed the role of a mouthpiece of the All Progressives Congress, APC, led government.
The statement read in part, “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.”
Continuing, the statement read, “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 and Benue people 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.”