Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has called on the federal government to proscribe all militant Fulani groups and other extremist groups as was done in the case of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Ortom stated this, on Thursday, when he declared open the 2021 Law Week organized by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Makurdi Branch, in Makurdi.
Governor Ortom said given that the Global Terrorism Index ranks Fulani militia as the fourth deadliest terrorist group in the world the federal government should proscribe all militant Fulani groups and other extremist groups should be proscribed.
He said the federal government should publicly condemn the atrocities perpetrated by armed herdsmen, arrest and prosecute the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore and other Fulani socio-cultural groups who have consistently admitted to the wanton killings and destruction of communities across the country.
He called on Mr. President to uphold his Oath of Office as President of all Nigerians and to lead in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and be the President ‘for everybody and for nobody’ as well as ensure equity, fairness and justice as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
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Ortom said Benue State vehemently stood against grazing routes and any other policy under the guise of open grazing because grazing routes were not only archaic but anti-development and retrogressive.
He advised them to use the period of this year’s Law Week for sober reflection over the future of the country especially how to make Nigeria a better habitation for all.
“Nigeria is on life support and is running out of oxygen. All hands must therefore be on deck irrespective of political, ethnic, religious and cultural differences to ensure the resuscitation of the country.”
Declaring the Law Week open, Governor Ortom noted that the occasion is coming at a time when the country is faced with a lot of challenges saying the theme for this year’s Law Week ‘Open Grazing in Nigeria: Threat to National and Food Security. National Cohesion and Sustainable Development’ is apt.
He said the NBA, Makurdi Branch had been a reliable partner to his administration in ensuring quick dispensation of justice and implementation of government policies.
“I must acknowledge the critical role played by the Bar in the process that led to the enactment of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law, 2017.
“I wish to commend the security agencies and the judiciary for their support towards the implementation of the Ranching Law and the maintenance of law and order.
Ortom further called on President Muhammadu Buhari to keep to his promise to recruit more security personnel to meet the overwhelming security challenges.
Ortom who described peace as a panacea to sustainable development enthused that the entire country had accepted the ranching alternative, insisted that open grazing is inimical to peace and tranquility and the cattle owners must fence or ranch their animals for peace to reign in the communities.
Welcoming dignitaries earlier, the Makurdi NBA Chairman, Mr. Justin Gbagir, said the disturbing trend of the activities of militia herdsmen in Nigeria and the attendant security threat to the corporate existence of the country necessitated the choice of the theme.
Gbagir said the security architecture in the country was in doldrums as all parts bleed uncontrollably as over 250 million inhabitants, travel routes have become awesome for danger of either being attacked and killed by militia herdsmen.
While praising the state’s Anti-Open Grazing Law, the Chairman expressed confidence that at the end of their deliberations, they will be armed with the necessary materials to take an informed position on the issue of legislation prohibiting open grazing in Nigeria.
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