Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
The Chairman of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) in Ekiti State, Alhaji Adamu Abache, has ordered his members to henceforth expose any herder seen perpetrating crime in order to live peacefully in the state.
Abache said revealing the identities of the Fulani herdsmen with criminal tendencies would protect the integrity of herders doing legitimate businesses in the state as well as disabuse the minds of Nigerians that all herdsmen are criminals.
The MACBAN leader stated this in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, during a security meeting organised by the state chapter of the Police Community Relations Committee(PCRC) for all ethnic nationalities in the state.
Speaking at the event where participants brainstormed on how to ensure peaceful co-existence among ethnic different groups to tackle insecurity, Abache said MACBAN had banned the use of underage for cattle rearing in the state.
He said: “Fulani herdsmen living in Ekiti State are for peace, and we will continue to live together with our hosts in peace. Our own support will always be to the government of the day for all of us to enjoy peace.
“But the government should help us by providing identity cards for all members, because the herdsmen are facing a lot of challenges in the forests regarding identification.
“The government must mandatorily register the number of Fulani herdsmen living in the state. The bio-data must be done through our local government heads. The government must know where we live and where we do our businesses, and whoever perpetrates criminal activities can be traced, arrested and handed over to the police.
“We want to bring to your notice that we have canceled the idea of using under-age children for cattle rearing. I have ordered my people to expose any herder or group of herders found perpetrating criminality, because we want peace and we want to live in peace with the Ekiti people.”
The Head of the Hausa community in the state, Alhaji Adamu Liman, said the issue of kidnapping had been existing for over three decades in the country, but added that it has become more lucrative through the payment of huge ransoms.
Liman submitted that though herdsmen might not have been absolutely innocent of the litany of kidnapping allegations leveled against them , it would also be biased and premature for people to conclude that Fulani herders were solely responsible for the crime in the country.
“This is where I support this issue of registration as mooted by Miyetti Allah. The government through our royal fathers must know those who live around them; those who are in their farmsteads and what they are capable of doing. This is the best way to curb insecurity,” he stated.
The PCRC state Chairman, Mr. Sunday Makinde, disclosed that the meeting was conceptualised to fashion a way of resolving all the litany of security hiccups being experienced in the state in recent time.