Miyetti Allah flays alleged killing of members in S-East

By Dennis Agbo

The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, has accused indigenous security outfits in the South-East of masterminding the killings of their members in the zone.

MACBAN said it is a legitimate pastoralist organisation engaged in the lawful tending of cattle across Nigeria, but that they have unfortunately been misconceived  as criminals, denying that the  allegation against them is not true. 

The group stated that it was deeply concerned about the violence perpetrated against their members and their livestock, as well as the unfounded blanket accusations levelled against them in certain areas of the South-East.

MACBAN’s National Deputy Director-General, Gidado Siddiki, while addressing newsmen in the company of its members in Enugu, yesterday, said in the past two months, they have mourned the loss of 16 individuals and hundreds of cattle in Anambra and Enugu States. 

Siddiki stressed that it was distressing to note that some of the perpetrators were observed wearing uniforms resembling those of forest guards, and urged authorities to investigate these incidents thoroughly and bring the culprits to justice.

“Regrettably, we have consistently found ourselves targeted by criminal elements and at the same time, unfairly blamed for criminal acts we have no involvement in. 

“Our markets have been indiscriminately destroyed under the guise of rooting out criminality, yet no evidence of wrongdoing has been found. Even in the remote areas where we graze our cattle, we face increasing threats from  criminals without  due response from the government or local leadership.

“We appeal to the government of the South East and the leaders of our host communities to recognise us as strategic stakeholders and refrain from unfounded attribution of wrongdoing to every herdsman out there. 

“We implore them to support us in times of need and instruct their security forces to discern between genuine pastoralists and criminal elements masquerading as such.”

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