“MACBAN has so far shunned this democratic approach and preferred to use intimidation and warring tactics and languages."
The Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) has accused Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) of terror threats in its opposition to Ekiti State’s anti-grazing law, and has demanded an apology for its outbursts.
In a statement by its publicity secretary, Kunle Famoriyo of the ARG said Miyetti Allah’s recent outburst against the Anti-Grazing Law recently passed in Ekiti State is “an assault on Yoruba people and will be treated as a terror threat until an apology is tendered.”
MACBAN’s spokesman, Othman Ngelzarma, was reported recently as saying the enforcement of Ekiti State’s Anti-Grazing Law could “develop into an unquenchable inferno…capable of creating uncontrollable scenarios whose ramification may go well beyond Ekiti State.”
The ARG took strong exception to that comment, saying, “Such open threats against the people and government that accommodated your business interest is terrorism.”
It further accused MACBAN of deceit in its opposition to the law, noting that the group “had always exonerated its members from herdsmen’s vicious crimes, blaming it on ‘foreigners from other countries.’ Sanity, therefore, prescribes that MACBAN should be happy with the enactment of such a law that will ensure genuine cattle breeders are not stigmatized by these criminals from other countries.
“The new law, being first of its kind, may not be perfect and its enforcement may not be smooth initially. The responsibility lies on major stakeholders to organize sensitization workshops for its members so that the new law can achieve its objective of stemming crises arising from herdsmen-farmers relations.”
The ARG added in its statement, “MACBAN has so far shunned this democratic approach and preferred to use intimidation and warring tactics and languages. But the right of governors, as the chief security officer of their respective state, to make laws consistent with the culture and rights of their people cannot be wished away by intimidation or threat.
“We recall that in 2013, the Hisbah Police in Kano reportedly destroyed more than 20,000 crates of beer bottles. Despite the freedom of movement and trade guaranteed by the Constitution, what mattered then was that Kano does not want beer within its jurisdiction – even though it hypocritically shares from the VAT generated from sales of alcohol in other states.
“Why should governors of northern states have the free will to protect their people and religious disposition, while their southern counterparts are subjected to intimidation? Nigeria is not a slave camp of any ethnic nationality, and MACBAN’s statement is therefore considered an assault on Yoruba people and will be treated as a terror threat until an apology is tendered,” the statement concluded.