The South-east chapter of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders’ Association of Nigeria (MACABAN) yesterday said its interest in the region was purely economic and nothing more.
The Chairman of MACBAN in the zone, Alhaji Gidado Siddiki, stated this while briefing journalists shortly after a meeting of the joint executive council of the group in Enugu.
Siddiki said the clarification became necessary following growing suspicion and speculation in some quarters about the activities of herders in the zone.
He said it was imperative to correct the impression that their interests in the region were beyond economic pursuits.
Siddiki explained that the suspicion that herdsmen were harbingers of Fulani territorial expansionism had degenerated into unhealthy relationships in most parts of he region.
The chairman said such suspicion had made members of the association to be increasingly uncomfortable.
He vowed that the group would not hesitate to report any of its members found to be involved in criminal activities.
He said herders in the region were desirous of striking harmonious relationships with the people of the area in order to avoid mutual suspicion.
Siddiki stated, “this suspicion is rooted in the speculation that herdsmen are harbingers of Fulani territorial expansionism.
“However, the leadership of MACBAN, under my watch in the South-east, has continued to discuss appreciably well with the individual state governments in the zone.
“I am happy that the dialogue gives us hope for better understanding between our members and their host communities.”