Gan Allah Fulani Development Association of Nigeria (GAFDAN), a Fulani group, has blamed the prevailing hostilities in Benue State that have claimed scores of lives on “the enactment of draconian, repressive and peace-breaching laws targeted at the means of livelihood of over 18 million Fulani herdsmen in the country without regards to the consequences of such oppressive laws to the corporate existence of the country,” by the state government.
In a statement signed by the National Secretary General and Board of Trustee (BoT) member of the association, Alhaji Sale Bayari, the group urged the federal government and the leadership of the National Assembly to immediately set up a high-powered committee to look into the deadly clashes between farmers and herdsmen in the country, which according to him, has the capacity to a cause a national security crisis.
Bayari also called for a cessation of hostilities in Benue “while amicable and long-lasting solutions are being sought at a national level over the unnecessary bloodletting that has the capacity of radicalising and militarising both the farmers and the herdsmen that can result into an insurgency and resistance, with the consequent total breakdown of law and order in the country.”
He observed: “There is a relative peace in Taraba State today despite the alleged killing of over 900 herdsmen on the Mambilla Plateau of Sardauna Local Government Area of the state between June 17 and 23, 2017, was because the association instituted a legal intervention by employing the services of a lawyer, Professor Yusuf Dankofa, who filed a suit against the Taraba State Government and the federal government at the ECOWAS Court and the International Criminal Court of Justice at the Hague respectively seeking justice for the victims.
“The association also filed another law suit challenging the Taraba State House of Assembly and the state government on the enactment and signing into law the Taraba State Anti-Open Grazing Law.”
He added that “GAFDAN did all these in order to discourage people from taking the law into their hands for self-help like what is happening today in Benue State. As a law-abiding association, we shall always operate within the ambit of the law and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”