The national chairman, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Alhaji Kiruwa Zuru, has lamented that law abiding herdsmen have lost an estimated 35 million cows to cattle rustlers.
He also lamented that the perpetrators of the heinous killings in Enugu and Agatu area of Benue were yet to be identified, and condemned the accusations heaped on Fulani herdsmen.
According to Zuru, “We take exception to this; the need to unequivocally establish that Fulani herdsmen are the perpetrators. If it is established, then, they should be prosecuted accordingly,” he said.
Zuru said that the association, during recent meetings with the service chiefs, called for proper investigation and intelligence gathering to identify culprits to avoid clamping down on innocent herdsmen. He called on the federal government to enhance the quality of existing grazing reserves by providing water and pasture in order to curtail the movement of the herdsmen. He also called for the establishment of a committee consisting of all tribes that would campaign on the importance of unity and peaceful coexistence.
The chairman made the assertions and calls in an interactive session with journalists in Birnin Kebbi last week while responding to the recent violence that occurred in some parts of the country that affected peaceful co-existence among communities. He further stated his support for the federal government’s efforts to find a permanent solution to the recurring clashes between farmers and herdsmen, noting that the recent presidential directive for security agencies to deal with perpetrators of the violence was a positive development and laudable. He further observed that it was alien for Fulani herdsmen to be carrying weapons in the country and called for the prosecution of those carrying arms.
Zuru emphasised that herdsmen would continue to support progress and development of the nation, especially in the areas of fighting corruption, insurgency and cattle rustling. He also said that the association was concerned about violent clashes between farmers and the unidentified arms carrying herdsmen.