A presidential committee headed by VP Yemi Osinbajo who were tasked to look into the killings by herdsmen in Benue state, have been rejected by Miyetti Allah, Afenifere group, Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo.
File photo: Osinbajo and Buhari
The North-East zonal Chairman of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Alhaji Mafindi Danburam, has said the Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo-led committee on killings by herdsmen would not produce the desired result with the inclusion of Ishaku and Samuel Ortom of Benue.
While speaking in an interview with Sunday PUNCH
, he said that the two governors, who have promulgated “military decrees” in their states, would make attempt to influence other members of the committee. He said the ban on open grazing was anti-Fulani.
Danburam said, “The committee would not produce the desired result with the inclusion of Governors Darius Ishaku and Samuel Ortom of Benue.
“The two governors, who have promulgated military decrees in their states, will make attempt to influence other members of the committee. The ban on open grazing is anti-Fulani.
“I want to tell you that I am disappointed completely in this present administration because this crisis has been happening for the past three years and the Federal Government did nothing to stop it.”
Also the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, dismissed the Osinbajo panel as diversionary and unnecessary. It said the committee demonstrated the lack of leadership in the country.
Spokesperson for the group, Yinka Odumakin, said the President should have deployed the necessary security apparatus to apprehend the perpetrators of the killings and put an end to the bloodshed instead of setting up “a nonsensical committee.”
He said, “The President has set up a committee to go and look for what is not lost; Some people are killing others like chickens, the laws are there, the President is keeping quiet and you are now setting up an Osinbajo committee, to go and do what?
“It is like sending the IG to Benue, to go and do what? The committee is diversionary, it is unnecessary and it shows the absence of leadership in the country. The committee is nonsensical,” he stated.
In his submissions, the National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prince Uche Achi-Okpaga, accused the President of double standards.
He said instead of setting up a committee to stop herdsmen killings, the government should have deployed the military to check the activities of the cattle breeders.
Speaking with a correspondent in Enugu, the Ohanaeze spokesman noted that the Federal Government did not set up any committee before deploying the army against the Indigenous People of Biafra.
Rather than setting up a committee, Achi-Okpaga said, “Buhari should have ordered the army to put a stop to the murderous activities of the herdsmen.”
Similarly, the Taraba State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Yusufu Akirikwen, expressed doubt over the sincerity of the Federal Government in ending the crisis.
“Notwithstanding that my principal is a member, that committee is a deceit; because the Federal Government knows what to do, but is not willing to do it,” he said.
Factional President of the Ijaw Youth Council, Mr. Eric Omare, urged the committee not to work only towards dousing the tension in Benue and other areas affected by herdsmen attacks, but to also go beyond political considerations in ensuring that the nation moved forward.
However, the General Secretary of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Bala Ngelzerma, urged the committee to be fair.
Ngelzerma, in an interview, said the committee should focus on the root cause of the crisis and not just the symptoms.
He said, “We said some days ago that the government should arrest all those found to have killed people in Benue and Taraba. Now that a committee has been set up, our expectation is that justice will be done.”
The party also referred his case to the Governor Seriake Dickson-led Reconciliation Committee.