From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Fulani socio-cultural organization, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, has distance itself from an “unknown” Fulani group called Fulani Nationality Movement (FUNAM) which Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom, claimed that attacked and wanted to assassinate him few weeks ago.
President of the Association, Alhaji Bello Bodejo, confirmed to Daily Sun in Abuja, on Thursday, that Fulani people no longer live in Benue state since the enactment of the anti-open grazing law, not to talk of being involved in offensive actions against the state governor.
He said: “FUNAM is unknown to us. We have observed lately that any time heinous crimes are committed in the state, the government links it to an unknown Fulani group called FUNAM. That group is fake, doesn’t exist and unknown to us.
“I have never heard about the group or seen its members except in the mouth of Benue government officials. As the group is being mentioned in the media, so I hear about them too. They are obviously faceless and we have no relationship or link with the group as being claimed by the Benue governor. I challenged journalists and security agents to look for them, speak with their members and know more about them, if they ever existed.
“No member of our association ever told us anything about the group neither of our member even agreed to have known their operational base. I suggest that you ask Benue state government, maybe they will know better about the group.
“The group is unknown to us. Neither me nor any of our members have information about them. Besides, it’s the government that controls the state security apparatus should give us more information about the group. We don’t have such powers and equipments to confirm that. Besides, there’s no Fulani in Benue state who will even ask questions.”
He explained that there’s Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) which is umbrella body of cattle breeders in Nigeria, and anybody can be a member of the association as long as you rear cattle.
“But our association, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, is a socio-cultural organization. Anybody who is not Fulani cannot be member. Note! We are not in competition with them because their agenda is not same with ours.
He, however, suspected that Benue state government might had established FUNAM to discredit Fulani, link them with terror and incite the people against them.
“It’s in his mouth that we started hearing FUNAM. People should ask why there’s no such group in other state other than Benue. Security agents should also investigate the group to know their aims and objectives, as well as their membership,” he suggested.