CONCERNS OVER THE MISCHIEVOUS VISIT OF PAUL UNONGO IN BENUE
We wonder why the Arewa Elder statesman visited His Excellency, Samuel Ortom, the Executive Governor of Benue state. Having forgotten his people for long for a greener pasture in far away Arewa domain, mysteriously he appeared in Benue again for a meeting. The visit is not unconnected with a Fulani motive to discuss the possible reversal of the anti-grazing law passed by the Benue state government. While we commend the passage of that law, we however, unequivocally stand against the move by the so-called Northern Elders Forum to that effect in that the law should not be reviewed. We are aware that, the Fulani herdsmen had been on rampage attacking several communities in the Middle Belt where people are displaced, farms are destroyed and lives killed unabated.
Communities in Benue state, Southern Kaduna, Taraba state, Plateau state, Adamawa state, Southern Borno, and others. The attacks which lasted for years now, led to degrading our economy, constant fear among people and loss of focus to plan life. More worrisome is the fact that, the self-styled Nothern Elders Forum saw nothing wrong with the attacks, as they never showed concern or in any way, sympathize with the affected communities nor called on their Fulani brothers to stop the dastardly act, but have the morale to visit Governor Ortom to speak on behalf of these herdsmen.
There has never been a statement credited to them calling for the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators. To our mind, these Northern elders are only elders for the Fulanis. This is not farfetched anymore that the “north” they talk about is all about Fulanis. Benue and Taraba state governors, as the Chief Security Officers of their respective states, having sworn to an oath to secure the lives and properties of the people of their states, have in their states promulgated the anti grazing law, which seeks to address the recurring issue of Fulani herdsmen attacks on the local farmers in their communities.
We hereby, categorically wish to say that, as the slogan goes, an injury to one, is an injury to all. That we applaud efforts of the Governors all together with the State Assemblies for rising to the occasions, by doing the needful, in other to curb the recurring menace in the states and their environs.
We also call on all other state Governors in the South and Middle Belt to emulate the exemplary stance of Governor Samuel Ortom, Governor Ishaku Dickson Darius and Governor Ayodele Fayose on the issue of security of lives and properties in their states, to equally pass such laws that will guarantee the safety of their people. It is now clearer than ever that, the Northern Elders are not only in support of the Fulani’s agenda but also in support of the ochestrated killings and displacement of the authochthonous ethnic nationalities. Hence, we as youths of the ethnic nationalities, hereby call on the NEF to discontinue with such moves, to allow those Governors to their Constitutional responsibilities to drive in by providing a safe and secured states for the peaceful coexistence of their people. While we still mourn the death of our people, some buried, others missing, while some still lying in the mortuary, murdered in cold blood by the Fulani herdsmen, we do not want to be taken back to those years of bitter experience in the past, under whatever guise, by the reversal of the law that guarantees the security of the people.
We also urge the Federal Government to allocate Sambisa and Allegero forests in Borno and Kano States respectively to the Fulani herdsmen, as that is in line with global best practices. So as to allow the citizenry to live in peace.
Meanwhile, we are fully behind the Governors of Benue state and Taraba state for enacting the anti Open Grazing Law. It shows to us and Nigerian people that they have their people at heart since governance is all about the people.
For: Concerned Middle Belt Youth Leaders