Michael Onwuka, Enugu
The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has said that the spate of insecurity in the South-East zone is not targeted at herders.
The South-East Zonal Chairman of MACBAN, Alhaji Gidado Siddiki disclosed this on Tuesday in an interview with newsmen in Enugu.
Siddiki spoke on the sideline of the burning of a truckload of cattle along Uga-Ezinifite-Igboukwu Road in Anambra on May 8, 2022.
Ikengaonline reports that since the incident, there has been war of words between another herders’ association called Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore and the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.
However, the MACBAN zonal Chairman said that though the incident was reprehensible, the situation needed not be allowed to degenerate into tribal hostilities.
Demanding that the perpetrators should be brought to book, he said that the security challenge in the South-East was not an isolated one from the totality of the situation in the country.
“It is evident that while our herders have suffered victims of the dastardly operations by the hoodlums, other Nigerians, including indigenes have also fallen victims.
“Government and private valuables have been lost to these gangs.
“It is, therefore, a burden on society which everyone and the government are called upon to contribute to its reduction and eventual eradication,” he said.
Siddiki said that MACBAN would not subscribe to the mode of altercation between the two aforementioned interest organisations.
“While MACBAN continues to sue for peace amongst aggrieved Nigerians across ethnic divides, we advise the relevant organs of government to fish out the lawless elements causing harm across the country,” he said.
He attributed the surge in criminal activities to injustice, inequity, and unemployment, adding that the various levels of government had a role to play at addressing the challenge.
“We call on the various levels of government to galvanise efforts toward improving the lives of Nigerians by issuing policies that will drastically reduce the huge population of Nigerians in abject poverty.
“It is beyond contestation that hunger, deprivation and extreme poverty breed unruly acts that include criminality and other anti-social indulgences,” he said.
Siddiki expressed optimism that the daunting security challenges in the country would soon be over.