Miyyeti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, ( MACBAN), in the South East, has expressed disappointment over the rejection of grazing in the zone by South East governors.
The Leader of the group, Alhaji Gidado Siddiki, in a statement yesterday in Awka, the State capital of Anambra said the rejection was surprising to them, stating that if implemented will not only frustrate their people from carrying out their legitimate livestock rearing business in the south-east, but might be suggestive of a kind of suspicion that might undermine the mutuality of the claim of brotherhood.
He said they had always appreciated the commitment of the South East governors in ensuring their safety.
“It is evident that our organization’s advocacy for peaceful coexistence among indigenous farmers and herdsmen is increasingly making successes in the South East.
“This explains our surprise at the latest stand of the governors, which, if implemented, will not only frustrate our people from carrying out our legitimate livestock rearing business in this part of the country, but might be suggestive of a kind of suspicion that might undermine the mutuality of the claim of brotherhood.
“We are mindful of the various negotiations and consultations still going on in respect of the contentious issues of ranching, colonies and grazing areas across the country, we are hopeful that these issues are considered dispassionately in the interest of Nigeria and the generality of it’s citizens.
“We of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders of Nigeria, South East zone, consequent upon the existing understanding we enjoy with our hosts and in response to the latest stand by the South East Governors Forum, wish to reaffirm our confidence in the capacity of our host governors to encourage the growth of our legitimate trade in their geopolitical zone.”
Meanwhile, during the weekend, south east governors met in Enugu where they revealed their decision not to give any land in the region for the establishment of cattle ranches.
Addressing journalists after the meeting, chairman south-east governors forum Governor Umahi, said reports that some south-east states had made land available for the establishment of ranches based on a request by the federal government, were not true.
Umahi reiterated that even when the federal government had not asked for any land for ranching, the governors would not agree to such a request.
He stated: “No land in the south-east has been donated for ranching. We have not donated any land; we have not been asked to donate and we are not going to donate,”.
“Ranching is not approved by the south-east governors in the south-east.”
The governors in a communique raised after the meeting, decried challenges posed by the movement of herdsmen in the south-east, stressing that they would meet with heads of federal security agencies over the development.
They also condemned the recent killings in Plateau state, and demanded justice for the victims.
“The south-east governors forum commiserates with the governor of Plateau state and the people of the state for the recent killings.
“We condemn the killings and join other regions to demand justice for the Plateau people.
“South-east governors have noticed increased challenges in the movement of herdsmen from one state and region to another with the resultant effect of massive destruction of farmlands with attendant clashes with farmers.
“South-east governors have been spending huge funds in settling farmers whose farms and crops are destroyed; we, therefore, request an emergency meeting in the south-east with federal security chiefs, farmers and herdsmen to stop the movements and prevent clashes.”