Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 11 October 2016 | 1,586 times
Cattle breeders in the South-East under the aegis of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), yesterday at a meeting declared war against criminals who parade themselves as herdsmen, in the zone.
They made the declaration at Amansea, in Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State, pleading with their host communities in the zone not to eject them.
The group noted that those parading as herdsmen were criminals and not genuine herdsmen.
In his address, chairman of (MACBAN), in the South-East, Alhaji Gidado Siddiki, hailed the state Governor, Chief Willie Obiano for having a cordial relationship with members of the community in the state and Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State for his positive response to the security challenges in the state.
Siddiki maintained that the association is unarguably the most recognized organization that superintends over the activities of herdsmen across Nigeria and pleaded with other governments in the South-East to lend sufficient support to eliminate avoidable rancor between host communities and cattle breeders.
He said: “As South-East 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 the South-East Nigeria.
“By this we mean that every herdsman of ours who steps into the South-East 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 South-East; indeed we strive to export our successes in this regard to other geopolitical zones in, Nigeria.
“We counsel our members in the South-East to quickly report any unpleasant encounters to me or any other leader who will notify relevance the authorities for prompt action. 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 South-East 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 representative in the area.
“We hereby enjoin our members co-opted into the security sub-committees 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.
“Where disposed, MACBAN will not hesitate to assist legitimate security agencies in tracking down such societal irritants.
“We plead that the generality of our herdsmen who are in lawful pursuit of their livelihood are spared the criminalisation that they suffer in the hands of the public for the wrongs of these dregs of society.
“It should be noted that the outlaws make no distinction between the herdsmen and other people in perpetrating their criminal acts.”
The association’s Chairman further said that given the challenge of containing the increasing menace of the criminals who disguise as herdsmen and given the in-depth knowledge of the fields and the jungles that the group is asking for the assistance of South-East governments in the area of logistics.
He said that the logistics is in terms of communication gadgets and vehicles so as to enable them go through the rugged roads and communication gargets to facilitate effective check against camp infiltration with the attendant hazardous security possibilities.
•Photo shows herdsmen.
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