Cattle breeders in Anambra State have pleaded with Southeast communities to accept them as genuine and law-abiding professionals, not violent criminals pretending to be herdsmen.
The cattle breeders under the auspices of Miyetti Allah Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) were speaking during a meeting at the Amansea cattle ground in Awka, the Anambra State capital.
Chairman of MACBAN in the zone, Alhaji Gidado Siddiki commended Anambra State Governor Willie Obiano for having a cordial relationship with members of the community in the state. He also hailed Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s positive response to the security challenges in the state, while pleading with other governments in the region to lend sufficient support to eliminate rancour between host communities and cattle breeders.
Siddiki said, “We wish to state that Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria is unarguably the most recognised organisation that superintends over the activities of herdsmen across Nigeria. As Southeast Zone members of this group, we wholly submit to the injunctions of the national body as much as benefit from the shelter the umbrella readily provides us.
“We represent the Fulani stock of herdsmen who are genuinely engaged in the business of shepherding cattle across the country, particularly here in Southeast Nigeria. By this we mean that every herdsman of ours who steps into the Southeast immediately becomes our concern. We seek to make herdsmen compliant with our underlying codes and practices for plying the trade across the zone.
“This is the utmost responsibility we strive to attain and sustain in the Southeast; indeed we strive to export our successes in this regard to other geopolitical zones in, Nigeria. We counsel our members in the Southeast to quickly report any unpleasant encounters to me or any other leader who will notify relevance authority for prompt. They are advised not to resort to self-help or seek any form of revenge.
“We also insist that other members who are coming from our neighbouring states should obtain clearance from the chairman of MACBAN of the state they are coming from. This will validate their identity, put them under our authority and avail them of privileges of our membership. We also implore some indigenes of the Southeast not to eject the cattle herdsmen from their communities so that MACBAN may have representatives for easy coordination. But if you eject all the herdsmen in the area someone may come under the guise of herdsmen and cause atrocity at the area and it will be very difficult for us to find out what happened because we don’t have representatives in the area.
“We hereby enjoin our members coopted into the security subcommittees in the local governments in Enugu State to show maximum commitment to their assignments. While we recognise the possibility of itinerant criminals parading themselves as herdsmen to unleash havoc on people and communities, we plead that those who embark on such criminal acts are properly designated as criminals and be so treated.
“Given the challenge of containing the increasing menace of these criminals who disguise as herdsmen and given our in-depth knowledge of the fields and the jungles we plead that the governments of the Southeast give us logistic support in terms of rugged off-road vehicles and communication gargets to facilitate effective check against camp infiltration with the attendant hazardous security possibilities.” The Nation