The Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) has endorsed the enforcement of Ekiti State Anti-Grazing Law, warning the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) over its threat against the people of Ekiti State.
The ARG, a pan-Yoruba socio-political think-tank, gave the warning in a statement its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kunle Famoriyo, issued yesterday, thereby calling all cattle breeders in the state to conform to the law.
The Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, had last week constituted anti-grazing law enforcement marshals.
After the marshals were formally inaugurated, the spokesman of MACBAN, Baba Othman Ngelzarma, said the enforcement of Ekiti State’s Anti-grazing Law could “develop into unquenchable inferno…capable of creating uncontrollable scenarios whose ramification might go well beyond Ekiti State.”
In its statement, therefore, the ARG said the threat by MACBAN against “the people and government of Ekiti State that accommodate your business interest is terrorism.”
The group described MACBAN’s opposition to the law as deceitful considering that the organisation had always exonerated its members from herdsmen’s vicious crimes, blaming it on ‘foreigners from other countries.’
It explained that sanity therefore prescribed that MACBAN should be happy for the enactment of such law, which it said, would ensure genuine cattle breeders “are not stigmatised by these criminals from other countries.”
It explained that the new law, being first of its kind, might not be perfect and its enforcement may not be smooth initially, noting that the responsibility “lies on major stakeholders to organise sensitisation workshops for its members so that the new law can achieve its objective of stemming crises arising from herdsmen-farmers relations.
“MACBAN has so far shunned this democratic approach and preferred to use intimidation and warring tactics and languages. But the right of Governors, as the chief security officers of their respective states, to make laws consistent with the culture and rights of their people cannot be wished away by intimidation or threat.”
The group recalled that in 2013, the Hisbah Police, a creation of Kano State Government, reportedly destroyed more than 20,000 crates of beer bottle. The Hisbah Police destroyed crates of beer bottles because Sharia Law outlaws selling of beer and other alcoholic drinks.
The group explained that despite the freedom of movement and trade guaranteed by the Constitution, what mattered then was that Kano “does not want beer within its jurisdiction – even though it hypocritically shares from the VAT generated from sales of alcohol in other states.
“Why should governors of northern states have the freewill to protect their people and religious disposition, while their southern counterparts are subjected to intimidation?
“Nigeria is not a slave camp of any ethnic nationality and MACBAN’s statement is therefore considered an assault on Yoruba people and will be treated as a terror threat until an apology is tendered.”