Michael Onwuka, Enugu
The Miyetti Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) says it is committed to ensuring peaceful coexistence and security in Enugu State.
The South-East Zonal Chairman, Alhaji Gidado Siddiki disclosed this on Sunday in an interview with Ikengaonline in Enugu.
Siddiki said that it had become necessary to make such commitment following the mutual suspicion between herders and members of their host communities in the state.
He said that contrary to opinions in some quarters, herders who were doing their legitimate businesses in the state were law abiding and not part of the security breaches in parts of the state.
On the strained relationship between villages in Eha-Amufu in Isiuzo Local Government Area of the state and herders in the area, Siddiki said that the matter was being sorted out.
“There arose complaints that some herders in the area were involved in criminal activities which caused a strain in the relationship between them and the host community .
“This bad blood escalated to the point of people being attacked and killed by hoodlums and the herders had no option than to relocate to nearby communities in Benue,” he said.
However, Siddiki said it was gratifying that the state government had initiated a peaceful resolution of the mistrust between the two groups.
He said that such move involved a strategic meeting between representatives of the villages in Eha-Amufu, Fulani leaders from Benue, Kogi and Enugu and the chief security officer of Isiuzo Local Government Area.
He said that the essence of the meeting was to usher in the peace and security which had been elusive in the area.
“I am happy that our people and members of the host community have finally come together to bring peace and security in that area.
“We commend Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for creating this synergy that has brought us together to sue for sustainable peace.
“Without this, we will not have access to the host communities. May God continue to guide the governor until the end of his administration,” Siddiki said.