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4 Aug 2018

Crisis Rock MAFO as members fight over origin of Benue's anti open grazing law

Opinions are divided within the hierarchy the Movement Against Fulani Occupation (MAFO) over the origin of the l much celebrated anti-open grazing and ranches establishment law in Benue state.

The Movement which was one of the foremost pressure groups against the Fulani herdsmen massacre in the state is said to be embattled after some members laid claim to being the sole originators of the anti-grazing law.
It was gathered that the problem began when one of MAFO’s elders and gubernatorial aspirant on the platform of the United Progresives Party (UPP), Dr Sam Inalegwu Abah used the words “the man who wrote the anti-grazing bill” on his campaign posters (pictured).
According to a member of MAFO who pleaded anonymity, the issue had infuriated other members who felt the achievements of the group were as a result of collective effort rather than that of a single individual.
“We feel very dissapointed about what is happening. We did everything in MAFO as a group and we never for once tried to glorify ourselves. All we did was because of our love for the people, including pushing for the anti-grazing bill to be passed into law. It is just sad to see how everything is being politicised. Its just infortunate”, she said.
Other leaders of the group have taken to social media to express their disappointment concerning the development, rebuking Dr Abah’s actions while urging members to remain clam as the matter would be promptly dealt with internally.
One of them, Mr Gideon Inyom said, “First, in the words of our late comrade Edward Dooga, “don’t underestimate the power of a thousand fools” with this words I concur, don’t take a singular credit for work carried out by a thousand fools.
“MAFO bill was not drafted by Dr Sam Abah without prejudice, we took that decision that MAFO will remain a collective achievement and singling this out for a persons capital will be a betrayal of collective success.
“It is not in doubts how MAFO started nor who fueled the generators to fuel the light of this law. I urge the elder and my mentor to refrain from usage of this bill for personal gain. This is a standard, failure to do this will continue to raise dust like it’s doing now”.
Another Elder of the group, Fr. Solomon Ukeyima told members to avoid diatractions and remain focused on the task ahead, saying it didn’t matter who wrote the bill or law, as long as it benefited the people.
His words: “I have serious and better challenges now, so no one should drag me to the debate of who wrote and who did not write the bill that is now the law prohibiting open grazing and establishment of ranches.
“So many bills were flying in the Benue valley even where the militant herdsmen invaded and occupied. My cry and concern was for the state assembly to pass the bill that would secure our lives and land and the governor to assent. This was done and I was happy.
“It is a scandal to me that many are fighting over who should take the glory of what the glory is not yet that visible.”
While the bickering continues amongst MAFO members, another version opines that the bill was drafted by Former Benue state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barrister Alex Adum.
The origin, notwithstanding, the anti-grazing and ranches establishment law was enacted by Governor Samuel Ortom on 22 May, 2017 and is believed to be the panacea to the incessant farmers and herders clashes in Benue state and across the country. 
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