A traditional ruler, Chief Iorbee Lada, has called on the leadership of Miyyetti Allah Cattle Rearers Association of Nigeria to impress on herders grazing cattle in Benue State to formerly register with traditional rulers and community leaders, so as to fashion out how they could move with their cattle without destroying farm lands and so avoid crisis.
Lada, who was addressing newsmen, in his palace, in Adeke community, a suburb of Makurdi town, on Thursday, condemned the forceful manner, in which the herdsmen enter into the state and choose, for themselves, where to settle, without regard to the owners, on the excuse that they also were Nigerians, and could settle in any part of the country.
He debunked allegations that he had collected over two million naira and a Jeep from Fulani leaders, in exchange for farm lands, which led to the protracted clashes with Tiv farmers in the area, saying it was fabricated falsehood by some of his enemies, who were always creating enmity between Fulanis and Tivs.
“The Utur people are refugees who fled their area and took refuge in Genabe with us. We have repeatedly asked them to return to their home but they refused to go. They are always fighting Fulani women, which leads to crisis. They spread rumours, recently, that Fulani herdsmen had sent messages that they were coming to kill my people and there was tension everywhere. So, I had to personally report them to the police.” Lada said.
According to him, he held a meeting with Fulani leaders, who also agreed that there would be no more fighting.