The Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore has accused Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom of seizing over 25,000 cows belonging to its members, detaining over 4,000 herders, and has, therefore, dragged him before the International Criminal Court of Justice, Hague.
According to the Fulani socio-cultural group, Ortom must face justice for “violating the rights of Fulani herders” in Benue State.
The National Secretary-General of the group, Saleh Alhassan said the group filed a suit against Ortom before ICC for “stealing” their cattle in Nasarawa and Taraba border communities and for also detaining “our innocent youths and dumping them in his dungeon because he is a governor.”
Recall that Ortom hinted after inaugurating the state’s Community Volunteer Guards, that his administration had secured the conviction of over 400 Fulani herders ‘besieging’ the state.
“We have secured the conviction of over 400 Fulani herders, who have besieged the state. We have seized over 25,000 cows. We released some of the cows to the owners who paid fines and auctioned the cattle of those who did not pay because that is what the law says to ensure that we protect our lands,” Ortom had said.
But Alhassan, in response to that this weekend alleged that Ortom would go to Benue and Taraba states border communities and seize cows, “making our members suffer. We don’t have herders in Benue. So, the livestock that he seized shows that he is part of the problem.”
He continued, “He (Ortom) is destroying the economy of our people in the border states. We have raised that issue, prepared our documents, and sued him before the International Criminal Court in Hague.
“We sued him for stealing our cattle in Nasarawa and Taraba border communities and for also detaining our innocent youths and dumping them in his dungeon because he is a governor.
“He is not arresting herders for violating anti-open grazing law because there are no herders in Benue. The law which he assented to in his state Assembly stated that for a herder to function, there must be a ranch.
“Ortom has failed to provide a ranch for us. Let him finish all this wickedness. He will still leave and the herders in Nigeria will continue to exist, prosper and be better.”
Accusing Ortom of performing “woefully”, Alhassan claimed that the governor’s actions against the Fulanis were “diversionary tactics to be able to stay relevant.”
He said, “I just pity the innocent people of Benue State. We have asked these people to investigate and probe the quantum amounts of security votes he (Ortom) has diverted from the state.
“He is a total failure and has seen failure staring at him in the face. After almost eight years, what are the developmental achievements he can present?
“We have stopped taking him seriously with regards to governance. We are taking a number of legal actions against him. We have also written to the President (Muhammadu Buhari) for compensation.”