By Taiwo Omotayo, Abuja
The Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, a Fulani socio-cultural association has vowed to challenge the recently passed “Anti-Open Grazing Law” by the Benue State House of Assembly.
The group stated this at a press conference in Abuja yesterday by its national president, Alh. Abdullahi Bello Bodejo. The group said the new law enacted by the Benue State government was repressive, oppressive and fundamentally against the pastoralists’ economic interest and constitutional rights. Miyyeti Allah emphasised that the action is a serious threat to peaceful coexistence.
“It is against this disturbing background that our association view the current attempt by the Benue State government to criminalise our means of economic livelihood of cattle rearing through the enactment of an obnoxious law, the ‘Anti-open Grazing Law’, as the most wicked act any government can do to us and our economic interest.
“We want to state here that we reject that repressive and oppressive law and will deploy all the necessary legal means as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution to challenge it. We will mobilise our people to resist any attempt to enslave them through this wicked legislation ever contemplated in the history of our nation.
“Pastoralists, like all citizens of Nigeria, have the right to move freely and to reside in any part of the country. They also have a right to own property in any part of the country. And they enjoy the right of freedom from discrimination like any other citizen of the country.
“We view this oppressive law as fundamentally going against our culture, economic interest and constitutional rights. The National Assembly should live up to their responsibility because the inter-state movement of pastoralists is analogous to inter-state commerce, which is an exclusive preserve of the legislative powers of the National Assembly under item 62 of the Exclusive Legislative List,” he said.
The group, therefore, called on the minister of Justice, Inspector General of Police, Senate President, Speaker House of Representative and traditional rulers in the country to prevail over the Benue State government and call it to order, adding that the new legislation is nothing but a call to anarchy.