Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka
The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) in the South East, yesterday, expressed shock over the decision of the South East governor’s not to give any land in the zone for cattle ranching.
South East Governors Forum had, last Sunday, after its meeting in Enugu, held that no land would be made available for the establishment of cattle ranches in the zone.
Reacting to the decision in a statement issued in Awka, the South East leader of MACBAN, Alhaji Gidado Siddiki, said the governors stand came to them as a big surprise because, according to him, there exist a cordial relationship in the zone between the group and the governors.
Siddiki said Miyetti Allah never failed to appreciate the commitment of the host governors in ensuring their safety, even in their rational insistence that their people must not infringe on the rights of indigenous farmers to cultivate and harvest their crops without any hindrance.
“It is evident that our organisation’s advocacy for peaceful coexistence among indigenous farmers and herdsmen is increasingly making success in the South East.
“This explains our surprise at the latest stand of the governors, which, if implemented, would not only frustrate our people from carrying out our legitimate livestock rearing business in this part, but might be suggestive of a kind of suspicion that might undermine the mutuality of the claim of brotherhood.
“We are mindful of the various negotiations and consultations still going on in respect of the contentious issues of ranching, colonies and grazing areas across the country, and we are hopeful that these issues are considered dispassionately, in the interest of Nigeria and the generality of its citizens.”
He expressed the hope of his members that the governors of the zone would change their minds and support the growth of their cattle business.
“We of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders of Nigeria, South East zone, consequent upon the existing understanding we enjoy with our hosts, and in response to the latest stand by the South East Governors Forum, wish to reaffirm our confidence in the capacity of our host governors to encourage the growth of our legitimate trade in their geo-political zone.