The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) says the spate of insecurity in the South-East is not targeted at herders.
The South-East Zonal Chairman of MACBAN, Alhaji Gidado Siddiki, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Tuesday.
Siddiki spoke on the sideline of the burning of a truck-load of cattle along Uga-Ezinifite-Igboukwu Road in Anambra on May 8, 2022.
Since the incident, there has been hostile exchange between a herders’ association called Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore and the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
However, the MACBAN zonal chairman said though the incident was reprehensible and the perpetrators brought to book, the situation needed not be allowed to degenerate.
He said the security challenge in the South-East was not an isolated one from the totality of the situation in the country.
“It is evident that while our herders have suffered victims of the dastardly operations by the hoodlums, other Nigerians, including indigenes have also fallen victims. Government and private valuables have been lost to these gangs.”
“It is, therefore, a burden on society which everyone and the government is called upon to contribute to its reduction and eventual eradication,” he said.
Siddiki said MACBAN would not subscribe to the mode of altercation between the two aforementioned interest organisations.
“While MACBAN continues to sue for peace amongst aggrieved Nigerians across ethnic divides, we advise the relevant organs of government to fish out the lawless elements causing harm across the country,” he said.
He attributed the surge in criminal activities to injustice, inequity and unemployment, adding that the various levels of government had a role to play at addressing the challenge.
“We call on the various levels of government to galvanise efforts toward improving the lives of Nigerians by issuing policies that will drastically reduce the huge population of Nigerians in abject poverty.
“It is beyond contestation that hunger, deprivation and extreme poverty breed unruly acts that include criminality and other anti-social indulgences,” he said.
Siddiki expressed optimism that the daunting security challenges in the country will soon be over.