From Geoffrey Anyanwu, Enugu
The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has appealed to Nigerians to unite and seek avenues to douse raging tension and insecurity in the country.
It also appealed to state governments in the South East to address the need for law abiding citizens to carry out their legitimate businesses in safe environments.
South East Zonal Chairman of the association, Alhaji Gidado Siddiki, who stated this at a press briefing in Enugu, said it had become imperative to restore hope and sanity in Nigeria.
He lamented that the tensed situation which most times were accompanied by emotive utterances and name-calling had worsened and disrupted the economic life of herders in the country.
“The spate of insecurity and outbursts of emotive utterances across the country is further fanning the embers of fear among Nigerians. For the ordinary man, the situation is enough to infer that Nigeria might just be on the verge of activating its emergency security mode.”
Siddiki said though governments at all levels had put much efforts into finding solution to the security crisis, the situation, however, required more work by political leaders to ensure the safety of citizens.
Regretting that herders had at various times been misunderstood even when they suffer terrible losses, Siddiki claimed that herders had borne the brunt of insecurity in parts of the country.
MACBAN members, he assured, were not interested in land grabbing and would never contest ownership of land with any host community.
“What we face today is a situation where the misdemeanour of others have largely rubbed-off on us, but these trials shall come to pass. We only ask to be allowed to do our business until such a time when viable and more beneficial options are realised. We maintain our support for authorities to go after criminals and rid the forests and cities of such bad elements in order to make life better for every Nigerian.
“We implore our people not to resort to self-help or avenge their losses. We trust that government is putting up positive response to earn the people’s trust by protecting them. We should seek true understanding, facilitate the warmth and cross pollinated business interactions that are mutually beneficial to Nigerians across board.”