Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has slammed Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore over a court case filed at the International Criminal Court (ICC), Hague.
Naija News earlier reported that the Fulani herders group announced that it had dragged Ortom before the ICC over the alleged seizure of cows.
In a statement on Friday by its National Secretary-General, Saleh Alhassan, Miyetti Allah said Ortom will face justice for allegedly seizing over 25,000 cows belonging to its members and detaining over 4,000 herders.
But in a statement by his media aide, Nathaniel Ikyur, Governor Ortom said that he is ever ready to meet the group at the International Court.
He explained that he was implementing the Anti-grazing law duly passed by the legislature and signed into law, adding that the law was enacted in good faith.
The governor said that the implementation of the anti-grazing law is irrevocable, saying that the passage of the law was part of measures to end the incessant invasion by the armed Fulani herdsmen and halt farmers/herders clashes in the state.
The statement reads: “Let those who are threatening to take me to court understand that every law is meant to be obeyed. For the avoidance of doubts, Benue people agreed for the law to be implemented. We are therefore enforcing the law. And anybody willing to do business in the state must abide by the law. I have done what is right and legitimate to protect my people from further killings. That is what constitutional democracy demands.
“Instead of Miyetti Allah directing their members who wish to live and do business in Benue State to abide by the law, they have continued to sponsor acts of terror against Benue people, killing and destroying properties worth billions of naira. As we speak, there are over 2 million of our Benue people living as refugees in IDP camps.”
The governor also dismissed claims that officials of the Benue State Livestock Guards arrested cattle from neighbouring states.
He said: “It is laughable to say that Benue State officials of the Livestock Guards go into Taraba or Nasarawa States to impound cattle. We know the boundaries between Benue and other states. As such, our officials do not go outside of the state boundaries to make any arrests of herds of cattle that violate our laws.
“We have documented evidence of threats and actual killings by Fulani terrorist groups who have been sponsored by Miyetti Allah to carry out violence against communities in the state.
“The State Government has also compiled the atrocities of Fulani terrorists against Benue people and we are also demanding compensation from Miyetti Allah for their atrocious activities in Benue State which have led to the killing of over 5,000 of my people, sacking of various communities, destruction of property worth billions of Naira and displacement of over 2 million people by these herdsmen. Make no mistake against this, I will continue to defend my people from these premeditated killers.”