The people of Benue State have vowed to defend themselves against maurauding Fulani herdsmen attacking them.
Disclosing their position, the three major ethnic groups in the state, Mdzough U Tiv, Ochetoha K’Idoma and Onmiyi Igede, also urged people of the state to resist any attempt by members of Mayetti Allah Kautal Hore to invade the state over the state’s Open Grazing Prohibition Establishment Law, 2017, also known as Anti-Open Grazing Law.
Speaking at a briefing yesterday in Makurdi, the state capital, the leaders of the socio-cultural groups, led by President General Mdzough U Tiv, Chief Edward Ojege, advised all the communities in the state to form vigilante groups
Ojege said, “All Benue ethnic groups also take exception to the characterisation of the Anti-Open Grazing Law by the leadership of the Mayetti Allah Kautal Hore as ‘wicked, obnoxious and repressive’.
“There is neither historical, archaeological nor anthropological evidence to indicate that the Fulani ever inhabited the Benue Valley at any time before the advent of the Benue people.
“The recent claim by Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore that they were in Benue Valley before our people is not only ridiculous, but also a lie concocted to support a desperate and diabolical claim on our ancestral lands.
“We are ready to resist this aggression with all the legitimate means that we can mobilise.
“We will not attack anyone, but if our people are attacked they will have to defend themselves. If the Federal Government cannot protect us, we will protect ourselves.”