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Attack on Ortom: Group wants FG to proscribe armed herdsmen

By Sunday Iduh

The Tiv Professionals Group, TPG has called on President Buhari to align with the Global Terrorism Index and designate armed Fulani herdsmen as a terror ring and proscribe the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore and GAN Allah Fulani Development Association as terrorist organisations.

They also called on him to ensure that their links with the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) and international Jihadi groups are thoroughly investigated.

The Chairman of TPG, Professor Zacharys Gundu stated this on behalf of the group in a chat with journalists in Makurdi while condemning the recent assassination attempt on Governor Samuel Ortom.

The group said: “Our understanding continues to be that the Fulani herdsman wants to stake bloody and violent claims to our ancestral lands in Benue State and elsewhere for usufructuary rights transferable to the Fulani of the whole world. Their claims have been extended to all parts of the country and are being driven today by bandits and criminals both within and outside the country. We are in a state of insurgency where bandits of all colours are merging with Boko Haram and international Jihadi groups for a final offensive on the country.

“Even though our lives are ultimately in the hands of God, the attempt on the life of Governor Samuel Ortom has crossed the line of sanity. Now that FUNAM has claimed responsibility for the attempt on his life and is even boasting that next time, he would not be so lucky, the whole country must know that the Fulani of the whole world will be held to account if anything happens to him.

“The attempt on Governor Ortom’s life might have been the trigger to dismember the country. Governor Ezenwo Nyesom Wike has rightly warned the country of the dire consequences that would befall Nigeria if anything were to happen to Dr. Samuel Ortom. TPG aligns itself with Wikes warning and adds that the people of the state are fully behind Governor Ortom and his principled rejection of indiscriminate open grazing based on grazing reserves and stock routes.”

TPG urged President Muhamadu Buhari, who is also a life patron of MACBAN, to take an unambiguous stance on the murderous activities of Fulani herdsmen.

The group which is an umbrella body of Tiv scholars within Nigeria and in the Diaspora said the President must be boldly patriotic and should also be seen to be faithful to the letters of the oath of allegiance and oath of office he took, as contained in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution and must not be seen as wilfully abdicating his constitutional responsibility with regards to upholding the provisions of the chapter.

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