The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), a Fulani socio-cultural group, has endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election bid and pledged to mobilise 20 million votes for him in the 2019 presidential election. National President of the association, Alhaji Muhammadu Kirowa, made the declaration, yesterday, at the 2018 Annual General Meeting of MACBAN, held at the International Women Development Centre in Abuja.
“We represent over 20 million members across the country, here in attendance we have over 2,000 people who have come from all corners of the country. We have representatives from each local government, and you heard their views, they have declared their interest in Muhammadu Buhari to move to the next level. This is a majority decision of the congress. We as leaders, we don’t have option other than to follow.
“MACBAN pledges its loyalty and support to President Buhari for his laudable efforts of uniting the country, infrastructural growth of the nation and transforming the economic life of citizens for posterity,” MACBAN declared. Kirowa explained that the group decided to unanimously endorse Buhari because of the numerous achievements recorded by his administration in the areas of infrastructural development, youth employment and security. Kirowa, who was addressing a gathering of over 2,000 members drawn from across Nigeria, said that since the inception of MACBAN, no administration has addressed the plight of the herdsmen the way Buhari has done within the past three and a half years. According to him, Buhari had made significant efforts towards reviving grazing reserves across the country, thereby impacting directly in the lives of their members.
“We appreciate government’s programmes of transforming the social lives of Nigerians through empowerments, agricultural development, particularly the livestock sub sector where pilot programmes of developing water and pasture in long neglected grazing reserves has commenced,” he said. National Secretary, MACBAN, Alhaji Baba Uthman Ngelzarma, however, appealed to members of the association to be law abiding, avoid frictions and utterances capable of causing chaos in the country. He urged the media to be conscious of their reportage which had the tendency to cause genocide, especially where herdsmen are described as killers and unwanted citizens even when, according to him, they were victims of bigotry and xenophobic attacks. “MACBAN frowns at the sensational and negative stereotyping of herders who are doing legitimate economic activity that contribute to the gross domestic product of the country and ensuring food security,” he said.
Ngelzarma said that the association would continue to collaborate with the security agencies in fishing out bad eggs within Fulani, saying “as a credible organization, we do not and will not condone criminality in whatever form by our members.” He, therefore, declared the support of MACBAN to the on-going anti-corruption crusade of Buhari in its totality, stating that corruption is the harbinger of all the tension and crisis facing the country. According to him, it is corruption that killed the livestock industry as well as other industries in Nigeria and gave rise to unemployment, low quality education, poor healthcare and high level of poverty in rural areas. Ngelzarma expressed optimism that the Federal Government Livestock Transformation Agenda as articulated, if implemented fully, would provide a solution to the recurring herders and farmers’ conflict.