Why we’re in South East, Miyetti Allah opens up
Against suspicion of hidden agenda against the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders’ Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) in the South East zone, the association yesterday said its interest in the region was purely economic.
MACBAN Chairman in the zone, Gidado Siddiki, who said this while briefing newsmen after a meeting of the joint executive council of the association in Enugu, said clarification of the activities of the herders in South East become necessary following growing suspicion and speculations in some quarters.
Siddiki said the impression that their interests in the region were beyond economic pursuits was faulty. He said his people had been doing their business in the zone for a long time without trouble and said their interest had not shifted from that of economic.
Worried that the suspicion that the herdsmen were harbingers of Fulani territorial expansionism had degenerated into unhealthy relationships in most parts of the region and made their members increasingly uncomfortable, he pleaded for understanding of their host region.
“This suspicion is rooted upon the speculations that herdsmen are harbingers of Fulani territorial expansionism,” he said.
The chairman, however, said herdsmen in South East were desirous of striking a harmonious relationship with the people of the area to avoid mutual suspicion.
“However, the leadership of MACBAN, under my watch in the South East, has continued to dialogue appreciably well with the individual state governments in the zone.
“I am happy the dialogue gives us hope for better understanding between our members and their host communities,” he said.
The association, he said, would ensure the herders were made to be precautionary while plying their trade and would not hesitate to report any of its members found to be involved in criminal activities.
“We, hereby, jointly resolve to fully lend our efforts toward fostering an enduring and harmonious relationship with our host communities. We urge members of our host communities to be more accommodating too,” he said.
Siddiki called on the governments of South East states to ensure the protection of their members and cattle.
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