By NNWANOSIKE ONU, Awka
The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria MACBAN, says, instead of the blanket ban on open grazing by the Southern governors, that a middle course should be taken to douse tension in the area
The middle course according to the group is coming together of leaders of the South and the North to chart the way forward for an improved and more modern mode of livestock keeping.
“It will douse tension and the heightening tension across the north and south and give sufficient room for a gradual adjustment that will be beneficial to the generality of Nigerians.
Neither the northern nor the Southern political leaders should call the bluff of the commoners, whose surface interpretation of the situation, has the tendency of brewing misgiving, rancour and avoidable friction across the board,” MACBAN said.
The Chairman of Miyetti Allah in the Southeast, Alhaji Gidado Siddiki, made this known to The Nation Thursday in Awka, adding that the rising state of insecurity in Nigeria had increasingly fanned the embers of suspicion among the different ethnic nationalities in the country.
The MACBAN leader said, “In recent times, however, the Fulani ethnic nationality has suffered greater hate and blanket condemnation by most of the other tribes in Nigeria.
“Because of the nature of Cattle rearing the herders are more on transit and so always interfacing with multiple cultures amongst their host communities.
“They are equally exposed to the wanton camp infiltration by often migrant fellows who are criminally minded and who do not spare the law-abiding herders the venomous effects of their criminal acts for their lawless acts, the entire Fulani suffers odium, unfortunately.
“I always insisted that the government and the statutory security and law enforcement organs should and must not shirk from their primary responsibility for security of live and properties of law-abiding citizen of Nigeria.
“Recently, the southern Governors met and placed a blanket ban on open grazing in a collective response to the demands of their people.
“I have interacted closely with some of these political leaders and understand the persistent pressure on them to take the stand they just recently took.
“Our people have lived harmoniously with the tribes in the south, but very recently the awry activities of migrant Fulanis have provoked unhealthy suspicion and attitude against people that have for aged enjoyed the warmth of neighborhood of their occupation.
“There is, therefore, need for a functional engagement to deconstruct the growing hate narration against Fulanis.
“I sincerely do not think anybody or group should be quick in rising to condemn the political heads of the south in this decision
“I rather think that the political leaders of the north, particularly those of them who are of Fulani stock or who understand the dynamic of livestock rearing, should put heads together and constructively engage their colleagues in the south for the good of all,” Siddiki said. (The Nation)