The Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom, Wednesday called on the Nigeria’s indigenous Fulani people to speak out against the invasion of communities in Nigeria by their kinsmen from foreign countries.
He said the situation is bringing bad name to the indigenous Fulanis.
The governor spoke at the Government House, Makurdi, when he received a delegation of Nasarawa State Traditional Rulers on behalf of the state government on a condolence visit.
The delegation was in the state to console with the governor and Benue state traditional council over the paramount ruler of the Idoma Kingdom, the Ochi’Doma, Elias Ikoyi Obekpa, who has embarked on a hunting expedition.
The delegation was led by the Emir of Keffi, Dr Shehu Chindo who was accompanied by other traditional rulers from the state.
Governor Ortom stated that the Tiv people, Fulani people and other Nigerians had lived together peacefully until foreign Fulanis were allowed to move into the country unchecked to cause the current violence being witnessed in Nigeria.
On the ranching law, Governor Ortom stated that the law is a win-win for herders and farmers as it prohibits open grazing and cattle rustling, adding that the law does not spare any offender from prosecution, including natives.
The governor expressed appreciation for the visit, saying that as brothers, it was incumbent on them to sympathise or rejoice with one another when the time permits.
Governor Ortom acknowledged his Nasarawa state counterpart, Abdullahi Sule, for his efforts to ensure peace between people of the two states, saying the traditional institution also have a great role to play in that regard.
Leader of the delegation and Emir of Keffi, Dr Shehu Chindo, expressed hope that the “conflict entrepreneurs who are benefitting from the farmers-herders crises will one day regret,” adding that the Tiv and Fulanis were made by God and cannot separate.