Terver Akase, spokesperson to Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has said that the State’s Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law was not created because of the Fulani ethnic group.
His reaction is coming amidst an alleged plot by some individuals to repeal the law.
Governor Ortom had in a broadcast on Thursday said since the enactment of the law in 2017 he had escaped seven assassination attempts.
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He cried out that about 52 persons of Fulani extraction, led by the former Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi, had signed a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari against him.
The governor alleged that the group in a desperate attempt to set him up for hatred, vilification and attacks, accused him of carrying out genocide against some pastoralists at Akwanaja in Doma Local Government Area of Nasarawa State via a bomb attack.
Ortom claimed they alleged that the pastoralists were bombed on their way from Benue to Nasarawa after they had retrieved their cattle.
He also accused Sanusi of making a video in Hausa, calling on all Fulani to consider him their enemy.
However, Akase said those who have been arrested for flouting the open grazing law are not only Fulanis.
He said, ”The law is not targeting any ethnic group. Those who have been arrested are not only Fulanis. The law is not only about cows. It is about pigs, goats and all other domestic animals that are capable of moving from their homes to destroy other people’s crops. Domestic animals are supposed to be kept in ranches, that is what the law is about.
”It is a law on livestock and crop farming because it protects livestock and crop farming. This was done so that those who have livestock will keep their animals in ranches and those who have crop farms, the crop will be on farms and there will be peace for everybody.
”The Fulani don’t have an exclusive right to own cows, many people too have cows. Other tribes in Benue own cows. If their cows stray into other people’s farms, they will be impounded; that is the job of livestock guard. They seize animals, whether they are pigs or cows encroaching on people’s farms.
”It doesn’t matter who owns it, if the animal has violated the law, the animal will be impounded. if you are a Yoruba, you own animals and they are destroying people’s farms, your animals will be impounded. Fulani should not make it look like the law is targeting them.”