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Insecurity: We’re not kidnappers, criminals terrorizing S’East, S’South –Miyetti Allah



• Says territorial expansion allegation is false

• Urges governors in region to protect herders and their cattle

From Jude Chinedu, Enugu

The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN) in the Southeast and South-south zones has opposed the profiling of its members as criminals and kidnappers operating in the southern region.

The group emphasized that their presence in the South is solely for the purpose of cattle breeding and not for any territorial expansion as erroneously believed by some individuals.

While acknowledging that no group is entirely free of individuals with questionable character, MACBAN asserted that they have been actively working to rid themselves of such elements.

This declaration was made during a joint executive council meeting held in Enugu yesterday.

The event was attended by MACBAN’s national executive members, zonal chairmen, Fulani traditional rulers, and state chairmen, from both zones.

MACBAN’s National Vice Director, Alhaji Gidado Sidiki, who addressed the media after the meeting said that the persistent reports of friction and insecurity experienced by their members in the various localities across the Southeast and South-south regions necessitated the meeting.

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“Our members are getting increasingly uncomfortable with the growing suspicion with which they are treated by a good number of people in the Southeast and South-south.

“The leaderships of MACBAN in the two zones are worried about the demonization of herdsmen and the manner of their often being tagged and treated as criminals. This suspicion is rooted upon the speculations that herdsmen are harbingers of Fulani territorial expansionism. 

“The convoking of the meeting does not presuppose an unusual provocation of the conflicts that our people experience with their native landlords.

“The leadership of MACBAN in the Southeast and South-south has continued to dialogue appreciably well with the individual state government in the zones. The dialogues give hope for better understanding between our members and their host communities.

“The meeting rigorously deliberated on the daunting challenges our members encountered in the course of their business of cattle rearing in the Southeast and South-south. It, however, recognized that such problems are not limited to the zones.

“The meeting recognized the need to correct the faulty impression that our members’ interests in the Southeast are beyond economic pursuits. The meeting acknowledged the government as the chief custodian of lives and property across the country.

“It, therefore, encourages and charges the government to live up to its mandate of providing security to its citizens across the country. Let it be noted that the leadership of MACBAN will not hesitate to report any herdsman suspected to be criminally inclined to the police.

“We jointly resolved to fully lend our efforts towards fostering an enduring harmonious relationship between our people and their host communities, as it is only in a peaceful environment that our business will thrive.

“The meeting was hopeful that the governments of Southeast and South-south states will ensure greater protection of our members and our cattle. It equally expressed great hope that the governments of the zones will speak in one voice in this regard,” Sidiki said.

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