Deputy Chairman of Miyetti Allah ID Card Found At Crime Scene

The identity card belonging to the Deputy Chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria in Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State, Zakariya Ya’u Idris, was found shortly at a crime scene.

The Police authorities said they had commenced investigation into the matter.

While the Irigwe Development Association alleged that the document was recovered at a scene where some persons were recently killed by suspected Fulani herdsmen, MACBAN said the ID card was stolen by Irigwe youths who attacked the house of Idris while he was worshiping in the mosque.

The President of IDA and former member, Plateau State House of Assembly, Sunday Abdu, said, “The identity card was seen at the scene of an attack where people were killed.

“The issue of identity cards is a small matter. We also recovered telephone handsets.

“We have reported the matter to the Police and the items have been taken for investigation.”

The chairman of MACBAN in Plateau State, Muhammad Nuru Abdullahi, insisted that the ID card was stolen along with other personal documents.

He said, “The owner of the ID card is the deputy chairman of MACBAN in Bassa LGA. He was chased out of his own house.

“He left this document inside his own house, and they entered and picked it and then went away with it. The man was running for his life.

“The incident happened on Wednesday morning. You know, they were attacked very early in the morning before 6:00am. He was in the mosque when they were attacked and he was unable to return to his house.

“That was how they picked the documents, including the certificates of his children, indigene’s certificates of his wife and children, his (MACBAN) identity card, vehicle documents and other personal items.

“He has reported to the Police and the report has been documented.”

When contacted to find out whether any report was lodged by either parties, the spokesperson of Plateau State Police Command, Matthias Tyopev, an Assistant Superintendent of Police said, “It is a sensitive matter; no comment for now, until after diligent investigation.”

Committee To Meet With Miyetti Allah

A committee set up by the National Economic Council to “find lasting solutions to the increasing cases of killings by herdsmen across the country,” is headed by the Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi.

A cross-section of Nigerians have criticised the Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo panel for its decision to raise a committee to hold talks with the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria in its probe of the herdsmen killings.

The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari, had said this on Thursday at the end of a meeting of the Osinbajo committee at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The Federal Government’s plan to meet with Miyetti Allah, however, has drawn the ire of different socio-political groups in the country.

Among those who faulted the move by the Federal Government are the Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere; the umbrella body for the Igbo, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo; and Middle Belt groups.

Others are a chieftain of the Arewa Consultative Forum, Alhaji Mohammed Abdulrahman, and a Niger Delta activist, Annkio Briggs.

The ACF does not, however, see anything wrong with the talks the Umahi committee is to hold with the cattle breeders.

Afenifere said that though the government’s plan to meet the cattle breeders association in order to end their killings was good, the government of President Muhammadu Buhari could not be trusted.

The National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, warned that the Federal Government was leading the nation down the path of anarchy and lawlessness by planning to negotiate with the herdsmen, who it said had stained the nation with the blood of innocent citizens.

Odumakin slammed the Osinbajo-led panel for proposing to meet with the Miyetti Allah, saying it was unfortunate that “a professor of law would be meeting to negotiate with criminals.”

He added, “If the panel is meeting herdsmen, who are staining the country with blood, it means the Federal Government is complicit in the murder of Nigerians. They have not brought one person to book, but they are negotiating with the murderers; this is an invitation to anarchy.”

The Ohanaeze Ndigbo also questioned the objective of the dialogue with Miyetti Allah.

The National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze, Uche Achi-Okpaga, told one of our correspondents that there was nothing to negotiate.

He stated, “What is the panel going to negotiate with the herdsmen about? Will they ask them (herdsmen) what the government should do to placate them before they will stop killing defenceless Nigerians? The setting up of the panel is simply unnecessary. It cannot achieve any result. It is the height of deceit. The panel has failed before it started.”

The President of the Middle Belt Youth Council, Emma Zopmal, said, “The government has never made an attempt to compensate the victims, yet it goes further to empower the Fulani herdsmen for killing innocent people. This is an irresponsible act on the part of the Nigerian government.”

Similarly, the President of the Berom Youth Moulders Association, Dalyop Chuwang, told SUNDAY PUNCH that the government should desist from handling security issues with kid gloves.

Chuwang added, “The sole responsibility of the government is to provide security to all citizens, regardless of tribe, religion and geopolitical region.

“The killer herdsmen should be declared as terrorists just like the Indigenous People of Biafra, which has not even launched an attack anywhere but has been tagged a terrorist group by the government.”

In the same vein, a Niger Delta activist, Ms. Annkio Briggs, expressed disapproval with the negotiation plans by the Federal Government.

Also, a member of the National Executive Council of Arewa Consultative Forum, Mohammed Abdulrahman, said, “If Buhari wants to do something, he should order the military to tackle the matter. He should ask them (herdsmen) not to come into Nigeria because they are not Nigerians.”

The Secretary General of the ACF, Anthony Sani, however, cautioned Nigerians against criminalising the Fulani.

He said, “Miyetti Allah is an umbrella body of herdsmen, but that does not suggest that the majority of its members are criminals who perpetuate the crimes of killing innocent people, including children who are not party to the feud.”

The ACF secretary noted that the plan of the Federal Government to negotiate with the warring parties, especially the herdsmen, did not amount to endorsing the killings.

Benue Indigenes To Take On Self-Defense

Still on the Benue Killings, The Benue State indigenes have said they will no longer fold their hands and watch their kinsmen killed by suspected Fulani herdsmen, stressing that they would take on self defense if the Federal Government continue do not take on actions on their security.

They also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to declare herdsmen “a terrorist organization” and arrest leaders of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) for consistently threatening more bloodshed in Benue State.

The people, under the auspices of Benue Indigenes in Southeast, comprising the Tiv, Idoma and Igede natives, dropped the hint in Enugu, yesterday, during a protest rally against the continuous killings in Benue by herdsmen.

The rally, which was originally billed for the Michael Okpara Square, was disrupted when armed policemen occupied the venue, forcing the organizers to relocate to another venue in the city.

The protesters carried placards bearing various inscriptions like; “we are not happy! Stop the killing in all parts of Nigeria. Please act now and save Benue. Your cows are not more important than human lives, cattle cannot be given more attention than human lives” among others.

They declared their total support for the anti-grazing law promulgated by the Benue State government.In a written statement signed by President of Tiv community, Dr. David Wayas, President, Idoma Community Andrew Tyonongo and David Achi, the Benue natives said: “We call on Governor Samuel Ortom to ensure total compliance and we reject the establishment of cattle colonies in our state. We call on President Buhari to declare the herdsmen terrorists.

“We also call on Mr. President to order immediate arrest and prosecution of Bosso and other leaders of Miyetti Allah who have consistently threatened more bloodshed in Benue State, as well as, order the enforcement of the anti-grazing law.”

Addressing newsmen shortly after the rally, Wayas said it was intended to first of all, register their condolences and observe a brief moment of solitude for their brothers and sisters who lost their lives in the invasion.

He said: “But most importantly, we are here to communicate our position before the world, against the continuous killings and merciless massacre of innocent, harmless, defenceless and very patriotic people of our dear Benue State, who have become the booty in the hand of nomadic terrorist herdsman.

“It is disheartening to note indeed, that the lives of those who lost their lives by herdsmen attacks on our land of course are yet to be quantified. But for the sake of those of us still alive, we are here to say ‘enough is enough’.

“We can no longer keep quiet, we can no longer be silent, and we will continue to speak whether heard or not until those behind this evil carnage is brought to justice. We fought for the unification of this country. Our ancestral fathers fought to unite Nigeria. Benue State fought to bring about what is today Nigeria. But, today, those who call us their brothers are slaughtering us. Today, we are denied our rights of existence.

“Today, we have become refuges in our own country. And yet we have a government, which promise to protect our lives and our property. How long shall we allow this evil to continue to prosper for saying nothing? How much longer? We may not have the weapon! We have a common voice as a people. We have a voice to say ‘enough is enough’. And we have a choice to choose where to belong, as long as these decisions will continue to guarantee our rights to live in peace and not in pieces. We have a choice”.

Herdsmen Kill Farmer in Ogun State

A farmer in his 60s, Adetona Owolabi, has reportedly been killed by suspected herdsmen who inflicted various machete cuts on him in Afon, Imeko-Afon Local Government area of Ogun State.

The farmer was said to have been working on his farmland located few metres away to the newly constructed bridge at Afon, along Owode/Abeokuta road when he was attacked by the herdsmen for challenging them when their cattle was grazing and destroying his farm produce such as cassava, yam and vegetables.

Ironically, the incident occurred few hours after the State Government held a meeting with security chiefs and representatives of various stakeholders such as leaders of the Fulani, Hausa communities and Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigera in order to prevent clashes between herdsmen and farmers and also to ensure safety of lives and property.

Unongo Calls Atiku to Caution Fulani Herdsmen, Calls Him Chief Financier

The Chairman of the Northern Elders Forum, Paul Unongo, has called on former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar to caution Fulani herdsmen on the gory spate of violent killings linked to herdsmen around the nation.

Unogo said this when he accused the former Vice President of being the chief financier and most influential member of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, the apex body of Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria.

However, the former Vice President said that although he is a Fulani, he was not a member of the Miyetti Allah.

Unogo however supported his claims saying in a media interview that the former Vice President told him (Unogo) personally that he was an influential member of the association.

Unogo said “I am aware that the most powerful person in Miyetti Allah is Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who wants to be the next president. If they are fighting for power and Atiku wants to create problems for Buhari, I don’t know. There are so many possibilities.

“The most powerful person who finances the Miyetti Allah is Abubakar Atiku and he is a prince of the Tiv Court. The Tiv gave him a traditional title, meaning ‘the biggest shade of the Tiv people’.
“This implies that the Tiv people should be able to run to Atiku who will protect them.

This is the man who heads Miyetti Allah and is the greatest financier of this organisation. He has more cattle than anybody in Miyetti Allah.

“It is an establishment of the big people, a very rich group of Nigerians and they pack small boys to take their cattle all over the place and then buy all these arms to give herdsmen to go and kill people, and the government is doing nothing.”