Benue State government, yesterday, expressed shock at the statement credited to a leading member of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, MACBAN, Garus Gololo, who demanded that the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, resigned his position or be forced out of office.
This came as Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, also, yesterday, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to arrest and prosecute the leaders of the group for the comment. This is even as MACBAN may have broken into factions as National Coordinator of the association and All Progressives Congress, APC, stalwart, Alhaji Garus Gololo, who issued the offensive statement, yesterday, took a swipe at the National President and General Secretary of the group, Alhaji Muhammadu Kirowo and Baba Ngelzarma, respectively, describing them as card-carrying members of the opposition PDP.
Gololo had said in an interview on Tuesday that Saraki would be forced to relinquish office, if he failed to resign as Senate President. In a reaction to the assertion by Gololo, Chief Press Secretary, CPS, to Governor Samuel Ortom, Mr. Terver Akase, queried why the sources of the statement had not been invited for questioning by security agencies, wondering if Miyetti Allah had assumed the role of a mouthpiece of APC-led government.
The statement read in part: “We find it strange that many hours after such inciting comments, the man who spoke on behalf of the group has not been invited by security operatives for questioning. The association asked the Senate President to resign or it will force him out of office. What an insult to democracy.
“It is becoming clear by the day that Miyetti Allah group has not only assumed the position of the ruling party but are also influential to decisions of governance in this country.
“What constitutional right does the group have to spew invectives on the person and office of the Senate President without being arrested? Are security agencies sending a signal to Nigerians that Miyetti Allah group is above the law and, therefore, untouchable?” “This is not the first time that Miyetti Allah association has made inflammatory statements. The other time, the groups held press conferences and threatened to unleash terror on Benue people.”
Similarly, PDP has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to direct security operatives to arrest, in 24 hours, leaders of MACBAN for calling on Saraki to either quit office or face its wrath. It said the outburst of the group mirrored the position of APC to force Saraki out of office at all cost. Spokesman of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, said in a statement that the unguarded statement by Miyetti Allah had exposed the synergy between the ruling party and some troublesome elements, who were being used to stoke division and create violence that resulted in daily bloodlettings in various parts of the country.
The statement read: “In the light of these treasonable and inciting utterances by Miyetti Allah, we demand that President Muhammadu Buhari should within the next 24 hours, order the arrest and commence immediate trial of the leadership of this group, otherwise Nigerians will henceforth hold him directly responsible for the utterances and actions of Miyetti Allah. “It is now abundantly clear to Nigerians that those fomenting crisis, including the bloody clashes in Benue, Taraba, Zamfara, Nasarawa, Plateau, Kaduna, Edo, Borno, Yobe, Enugu, Kogi, Adamawa and other states in our country, have political backers who now want to channel them to achieve their unpatriotic quest to subvert our constitution and forcibly take over the National Assembly.”