David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has condemned what it termed ‘blanket criminalisation’ of herdsmen in the country.
The group said there were still good people among them, and that people should not take advantage of the infiltration of the group by some criminal elements to label all herdsmen killers.
The Chairman of MACBAN, South-east Zone, Alhaji Gidado Siddiki, stated this in the Ed el Kabir goodwill message he signed and made available to journalists in Anambra State.
According to him, “As I invite everyone in the celebration of Id el Kabir, I sincerely plead for better understanding in information peddling to avoid the often misinformation, half-truths and outright falsehood that the gullible public are often fed with.
“I plead with the governments, traditional and religious leaders as well as other influential groups in the South-east region not to relent in their advocacy for peaceful coexistence among Nigerians wherever they choose to live and do their legitimate businesses.
“I plead for truthfulness, fairness and restraints in information management to avoid tendencies of unfair blanket criminalisation of any group of people.”
Siddiki said he advocated that criminals, wherever they are identified, should be made to face the full wrath of the laws of the land, and that the safety of the citizens is the primary commitment of the government; “it should be so in our country.”
The group appreciated the government and people of the region for providing them “the opportunity to successfully do our business in the geopolitical zone.”
It added: “I wish to use this privilege to pray for peaceful coexistence among Nigerians. I wish to pray for improved peace and understanding between our host communities (Southeast) and our herdsmen who are genuinely engaged in the business of cattle rearing in this part of Nigeria.
“I most heartily share the warm goodwill message of Id el Kabir to the entire Muslim Ummah, the government and good people of Southeast.”