A group, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has refuted claims indicating that its members were involved in ethnoreligious killings in some states across the country.
The group’s National Secretary, Baba Othman Ngelzarma said this in a statement yesterday where he urged security agencies to investigate those linking his group’s members to incidents of violence.
Ngelzama, who commiserated with the people of Southern Kaduna, Delta and other states over recent cases of attack and killings, said his group will continue to condemn perpetrators of evil irrespective of the groups or individuals involved.
Precisely on the 9th December, 2016, one of our members was killed while ten of his cows were also allegedly killed by some elements from the Nimbo community in Enugu State, who crossed over to Idah Local Government area of Kogi State to commit the said crime. Then, some unscrupulous members of Igah community in Uzoajeh Local Government of Enugu State crossed over to Omasi in Anambra, killing twenty-two cows belonging to our members.
This was followed by the killing of two of our members at Rugan Alahji Quadri, then five others were reportedly killed in Lushi, and worst still Fulani settlements of Bomaanda, Jollari (Garin Ardo Bakari) and Lande Jewshi were allegedly burnt down by some elements of Mumuyeh community in Lau Local Government of Taraba State.
On that same fateful day, one of our members was also killed in a community close to Ganye in Jada Local Government area of Adamawa simply because some of his cows mistakenly strayed and damaged a few molded blocks in a block making factory.
We were also notified of the killing of two villagers by Herdsmen in Ehuvu, in Ughelli North local government area. In recent times, precisely two Herdsmen were brutally killed on 7th January 2017 at Omobanam east in Anambra State for presumably ritual purposes. In all the reported cases, our timely intervention by calling for restraint amongst our members helped forstalled the looming reprisal attacks.
Unfortunately, when such violence and killings occur, farmers and members of such communities receive favorable reporting, while herdsmen are singled out for condemnation.
That has become like a recurring decimal, and also plays a major role in the deep seated animosity between the feuding parties. It is our firm belief that balance reportage would go a long way in addressing this ugly trend.
Again, MACBAN vehemently disassociates itself from those who hold the view that the Southern Kaduna skirmishes between Fulanis and the other ethnic groupings represent a case of ethnic cleaning o religious war.
Our resolve for peaceful co-existence between our members and their host communities remain firm. This explains our initiatives and recent trips to Enugu State where we rubbed minds with the Pan-Ndigbo Ohanaeze, and representatives of the Enugu State Governor on how best we can actualize our peace plan.