The National body of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria ( MACBAN ) has given conditions that will put a halt to the incessant clashes between its members and farmers across the country.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Sunday, the National Secretary of the association, Baba Usman Ngeljarma said that Federal Government should create Ministry of Livestock Development to attend to the multidimensional needs of the industry.
He explained that they are the most neglected and humiliated community in the country thereby depriving them of so many things, adding that their case is worsened by long years of exclusion. He pointed out that the national gang up against the herdsmen is not only endangering the survival of their people but also justifying action against them no matter how crude and inhuman it is.
"The current situation in our opinion is fuelled by the draconian laws put in place by some state governments with the singular aim of chasing our people out of the states simply for ethnic hatred"
He added that the laws are nothing more than a symbol of intolerance and do not in anyway intend to solve the farmers/grazers conflict as livestock breeders interest is neither captured in the law nor in its implementation.
He stated that compensation should be paid to their members who are the victims of all crises to reduce their level of suffering. Also, he called for a "Federal Judicial Commission" of inquiry to investigate and look into all the killings as to unravel the truth and the offenders.
Ngeljarma noted the government should disarm all illegally armed militia across the country in the interest of peace, security and stability. He also called for the arrest and prosecution of those who killed 732 Fulanis in Mambilla and 82 women and children in Numan.
He revealed that the association have lost over 1000 people including children and women with over 2million cattle to gangs.
"The media was awash with the story of Tiv militia gang arrested in Taraba State by the army who confessed that over 1000 of them were recruited and dangerously armed by the Benue State government to kill the Fulani herdsmen "
He condemned those calling on the government to declare and brand herdsmen as terrorists noting that it as a continuation of the hate agenda against its members.
While absolving the members of the association of carrying out the carnage in Benue State, Ngeljarma said that like any other community in the country the association is battling with misguided and criminally motivated elements who indulge in social vices and criminal activities. He maintained that those few miscreants do not represent the mainstream of herdsmen.
The press conference was attended by the National President of the association, Alh. Mohammadu Kiruwa and other national executive members as well as a large number of registered members of the association.