Nigerians have asked the federal government to ban ‘Miyetti Allah’, the foremost Cattle Breeders Association in the country. The position was made known in a poll conducted by Punch Online.
The poll titled ‘Benue killings: Should Miyetti Allah be banned?‘ went live on Wednesday. It asked respondents to indicate Yes if they wanted Miyetti Allah banned or No if they wanted the cattle breeders association left alone.
Respondents were also given the choice to be Indifferent on the matter.
As of 1:00pm on Thursday, 2,122 out of the 2,363 respondents, who make 90 per cent of the total votes chose ‘Yes’, they wanted the group banned. The respondents blamed the herdsmen and stated the several deadly attacks in Benue State as the reason for their choice.
The respondents who don’t want the group banned were 175, making 7 per cent of the total votes, while 66 respondents, making 3 per cent were Indifferent.
“Miyetti Allah should be banned, not only proscribing the evil organisation’s activities, their leaders, sponsors, and all those involved in the killings of innocent souls should be arrested and prosecuted without delay; as we are talking we don’t know what next these herdsmen are planning in Benue and other neighbouring states,” wrote one respondent who gave his name as Raheem.
Another respondent, Dencom wrote, “If the less violent IPOB could be proscribed for allegedly being a threat to national security, why not Miyetti Allah which poses a far more dangerous threat to our national existence via their bloody bestiality?” the respondent asked. “…When victims of Miyetti Allah killings are pushed to the wall of self-defence, another civil war might be on the horizon,” the respondent concluded.
Osinkolu Babafemi said on Facebook: “Not only banned. They should be prosecuted and sentenced. The souls and blood of the innocents shall revenge!”
Agbo Ndubui Paul was very sarcastic in his comment, he wrote, “NO. They should be awarded as the Best invaders of Nigeria. Since they are not Nigerians according to the FG, they should create a special grazing reserve in Aso Rock.”
Some of the respondents who do not think the group should be banned suggested that they should be controlled.
“They should not be banned but their movement should be controlled,” one respondent who gave his name as Emmanuel commented.
Ibrahim Tsoho Tsoho said, “No way we must live together as usual.”
Even though the herdsmen/farmers clash had been existing in Nigeria for a long time, the recent spate of attacks in Benue State follows the initiation of the anti-open grazing law by the state government.
About 24 hours after the anti-open grazing law took effect in the state in November 2017, suspected Fulani herdsmen attacked some communities in Logo Local Government Area of the state. They killed one person, Ortse Kwaghdoo (40), and injured a 70-year-old man, Hinger Aka.
A few days after the passage of the law and the subsequent attack, the Fulani socio-cultural organisation, Miyeti Allah, had described the anti-open grazing law passed in some states as a time bomb. The association, which made the comment at its North-West zonal meeting in Kaduna, argued that the anti-open grazing law was an attempt to destroy herders’ means of livelihood.
The National President of the association, Alhaji Abdullahi Bello-Bodejo, and the National Secretary, Alhaji Sale Alhassan, at a joint press conference held after the meeting, had said the law was not in the best interest of peace in the land. They called for its urgent review.
The association also asked the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to provide security for Fulani herdsmen particularly in Benue State because their lives were under threat.
Meanwhile, following the recent increase in the spate of attacks, President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to move to the state and tackle the crisis. The I.G landed in Makurdi, the state capital on Wednesday.