The cattle herders' group has cried out about how herders are being robbed and killed by criminals.
This was disclosed by the association's national secretary, Usman Baba-Ngelzarma, while he was speaking during an interview on Channels Television on Thursday, June 7, 2018.
Ever since herdsmen were blamed for the death of 73 people in attacks launched in Guma and Logo local government areas of Benue state in the opening days of January 2018, hundreds of people have been killed in similar attacks in the state and a few others in the country.
While speaking during his appearance on Thursday, Baba-Ngelzarma argued that the crisis is not one-sided as cattle herders have also been affected by it. He noted that criminals have hijacked the conflict to carry out unspeakable crimes against herdsmen.
He said, "We also suffer a lot of losses in Benue. In a span of 40 days today, we lost about 52 people and over 4,000 cows as a result of this crisis in both Benue and Nasarawa state."
He further said, "Criminals have taken advantage of the law and perpetrated their criminal acts. I'm telling you in a span of just 40 days, we lost about 52 people and about 4,000 herds of cows. People don't know. It's not only the farmers that are suffering; even the pastoralists are not spared."
Baba-Ngelzarma further pointed out that the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law implemented by the Benue state government in November 2017 has worsened the crisis instead of fostering peace. He also disclosed that the Benue state government has not been responding to requests from the Miyetti Allah group to have a dialogue on restructuring the anti-open grazing law.
Baba-Ngelzarma urged the government to review the law and and make it acceptable for all parties to co-exist peacefully.