Nigerian Concord Newspaper
The Fulani Nationality Movement, FUNAM, has threatened to attack the people of Benue state if they fail to elect the governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress, Reverend Father Hyacinth Alia as the next governor of the state on March 11, 2023.
According to the fulani group, their support for Alia and the Benue APC is a result of the commitment which had been shown by the Benue’s opposition party to abolish the anti open grazing law which they described as anti Fulani law.
Recall that Alia had been reported severally of romancing with the Fulani herders with a promise to repeal the Anti- Open Grazing law if they could support him to win the election.
It would also be recalled that the governors of Katsina and Kaduna states, Aminu Masari and Nasir El-Rufai played a major role to ensure that the agreement between Alia and the Fulani leaders was sealed last year.
The agreement between Alia and the Fulani leaders bore its first fruit last year when a sum of N500 million was released to the duo of Masari and El-Rufai to settle the legal tussles between the APC governorship candidate and some aggrieved aspirants both in the APC and PDP.
Also, it was recently discovered that the Fulani leaders in Nigeria released a whooping N4b to the Benue state chapter of the All Progressive Congress to do vote buying during this Saturday’s governorship election.
Speaking in a press statement yesterday, Umar Amir Shehu the National President of FUNAM lauded the people of Benue for voting against Governor Samuel Ortom on February 25, stressing that the defeat was the first victory against the governor.
FUNAM has always complained that the anti open grazing law in Benue state isn’t favourable to their members (Fulani herders). The association has also been looking for ways for the law to be repealed.
Saying that attacks on Benue people by Fulani herders have just started, FUNAM in the press statement, a copy which was obtained by our reporter last night said that the people of the state should know that the renewed massive attacks across Benue is just to sound a note of warning as to what shall befall them if they don’t vote for the APC in the Governorship polls.
The press statement reads in parts: “We are particularly happy that Governor Samuel Ortom has lost his senatorial ambition partly due to his animosity towards the Fulanis as he has made a wicked law to deny pastoralists the right to stay and do our lawful business in the state.
“FUNAM is impressed with the Benue people for doing what we advised them to do by voting for the APC in the 2023 elections. Now that the first hurdle has been crossed, we look forward to the next stage which is the governorship election, where we also know that the PDP would be defeated.
“We are not giving room for complacency and shall not take it lightly with the people if they decide to abandon this project halfway by voting for the evil party of Governor Ortom, the PDP on March 11 against our agreement with major stakeholders in the state, especially leaders of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
“The people should know that the renewed massive attacks across Benue is just to sound a note of warning as to what shall befall them if they don’t vote for the APC in the Governorship polls. We had told them that we will bring Ortom down and we have done just that. But the battle is not over until we win totally as we ardent believers in the principle of winner takes all.
“They are aware that we have never failed in making good our intentions, and we will always get what we want. The Ortom administration had too much hatred for the Fulanis and we told him that the people of the state will not enjoy peace on account of that. We hope they vote his party out and bring in the APC which has promised to repeal the law banning open grazing in Benue state, as that is the only requirement for the permanent return of peace in the state.
“The APC has so far shown signs of commitment to abolishing the anti-Fulani law and we expect the people to elect them if they want to enjoy peace again.
“For Governor Ortom, we are not done with him. He should not assume that our widespread celebration of his loss at the polls is the end. We are still coming for him and those who stood by him in making life miserable for innocent Fulani pastoralists in Benue and neighbouring Nasarawa state.
“We once again assure the people of Benue state of the support of Fulanis worldwide for their desire to uproot PDP and install a Fulani-friendly administration in the state.
“We urge them to go out on Saturday, March 11 and vote massively for the Governorship candidate of the APC and the party’s candidates for the House of Assembly elections, if they truly anticipate the return of peace in their communities”