Benue State government has described the call for the declaration of state of emergency on Benue and Taraba on account of farmers/herdsmen crises by the national president of the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Abdullahi Bello Bodejo as a mere figment of his imagination.
Governor Samuel Ortom through his Adviser on Media and ICT, Tahav Agerzua who was reacting to a media report credited to Bodejo, said the call for the declaration of the state of emergency in the two states was unrealistic, untenable and unacceptable, because many other states across the six geopolitical zones of the country have been affected by similar crisis even with a greater magnitude and are not included.
“Incidentally, what Benue and Taraba states have in common is the enactment and implementation of Open grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Laws.
These laws were made to curb incessant clashes between farmers and herders that had taken a huge toll on human lives and property in the two states in accordance with the 1999 Nigerian Constitution as amended.
“Calling for a declaration of a state of emergency in the two states would be tantamount to punishing these states that have performed their legitimate constitutional responsibility of enacting laws for good governance,” he said.
The governor recalled when Bodejo in company of the secretary general of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Engr. Saleh Alhassan, allegedly announced at a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday, 30th May, 2017, that they would mobilize their kith and kin across the world to invade Benue State to drive away the inhabitants and take over the land for cattle to graze freely.
Governor Ortom however restated his earlier call for the declaration of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore as a terrorist organisation as well as the arrest and prosecution of their leaders for terrorism.
He described the heaping of blame on the him for the enactment of the law as unfortunate and misplaced adding that the law is not his personal property but the collective decision of the people of the state as reflected in the decision of the House of Assembly.
“Why is the so called Bodejo attributing the enactment of the law to non payment of salaries, is he a civil servant in Benue? This is also untenable as several states with salary payment challenges have not resorted to the enactment of a similar law.
Bodejo should go to his state and make that kind of noise, Benue government has taken far reaching steps to regularize the payment of salaries with effect from January, 2018”, he added.