Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki
South East governors have rejected the proposal by the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) to set up Fulani Youth Vigilance groups in the five states of the South East geopolitical zone.
President of MACBAN, Alhaji Muhammadu Kirowa, had at a security summit of the zone held in Enugu recently said the Fulani youth outfit, when established, would work alongside with the security agencies and the local vigilance groups to ensure the security of lives and property in all the communities.
National Secretary of the group, Alhaji Baba Ngelzarma, who presented the Kirowa’s address, applauded the South East governors for their commitment towards the peaceful coexistence between farmers and herdsmen.
But the governors have rejected the proposal, describing it as strange. They said that the demand by the leadership of MACBAN was a huge joke totally unacceptable.
The governors’ rejection of the demand was contained in a statement issued by the Chairman of South East Governors’ Forum (SEGF) and Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi, which was released by his Chief Press Secretary, Emmanuel Uzor.
The statement read in part: “I find it extremely strange for anybody to think that none locals in any part of the country including South East could be allowed to form vigilance outfit.
“The Miyetti Allah group may have made that suggestion which I believe will never mean to form a vigilante in South East. Whichever is the meaning, no governor will allow that.
“South East governors have their local vigilances groups working with security agencies. Any such demand by Miyetti group is a joke and not acceptable. Governors of South East are doing their best and we have no problems receiving insults from our people. It’s the price for leadership.
“The important thing to us is the safety and well-beings of our people. OPC and other pressure groups may not have found it fashionable to be insulting their leaders even when their leaders may not be saints.
“Finally, no Miyetti vigilante in South East, no cattle ranch or colony but we will live peacefully with herdsmen that do not destroy our farmland especially those that were born here and have lived peacefully with us. All South East governors are together in this position,” the statement read.