The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has sided with Fulani herdsmen over the lingering violent clashes between them and landowners across the country, wondering where Nigerians expect cattle breeders to keep the over 20 million cows in the country.
They spoke in Abuja on Wednesday, May 4, 2016 during a meeting MACBAN had with the chief of defence staff, CDS, General Gabriel Olonisakin represented by the director of administration at the Defence Headquarters, DHQ, Major General Fatai Ali.
Senator Alkali Jajere, who spoke on behalf of the group, regretted that Nigerians have refused to pay attention to what motivated Fulani herdsmen to migrate to other territories in the country, explaining that herdsmen moved into new territories because members of the Boko Haram sect attacked them in the North-East and other parts of the country and stole millions of cows from them.
Accompanied to the meeting by the Miyetti Allah chairman, Mohammadu Kiruwa and the national secretary Usman Ingelzarma, Jajere maintained that Fulani herdsmen have also suffered from cattle rustlers in Katsina, Zamfara, Kebbi, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Plateau, Benue and parts of Kogi states where millions of cows were taken away from them, wondered
“Our appeal is that you tackle this issue with professionalism, so that no innocent person, no herdsman who has not gone anywhere, would be apprehended or suffer injuries,” he said, adding that the Miyetti Allah had visited all security agencies to warn about the recent upsurge in clashes.
According to him, “When the reserves and forest were gazetted and reserved for cattle breeders, this incident was not there; but the increase in population has now wiped out the entire grazing reserves in this country; 400 and something of them all wiped out. And you have a population of about 20 million cows. Where do you keep them? And every one of us likes to eat meat.
“This is a venture that over 20 million people are engaged in. And nobody cares to know what the causes of this problem are. Presently, you know the case of Boko Haram. They attacked and decapitated the population of Fulani in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe and some parts of Taraba.
Stressing that government and the Miyetti Allah must ensure that the sanctity of life of a farmer, any other citizen or herdsman is protected, Jajere said: “Fulani are killed like rats in the bush, and nobody announces it, but that is not an excuse also to say that anybody in the name of herdsman can go and kill anybody in this country and we allow it to go, that cannot happen.”
via The Willing