THE Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders’ Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) have distanced itself from the recent Plateau attack, saying the Association does not believe in reprisal attacks.
This is coming as a story circulated that the MACBAN were behind the recent attacks in communities in Plateau State, claiming that over 300 of their cows were killed, the attack claimed over 100 lives and properties destroyed.
In a statement issued by the National Secretary of MACBAN, Baba Othman Ngelzarma, the Association called on the government to fish out the perpetrators of the act and punish them accordingly.
The Association, however, condemned the recent attack in Plateau communities and commiserated with the families affected by the attack and the Plateau State Government.
According to the statement “the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders’ Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) condemns in its totality the recent upsurge of violence in three Local Government Areas of Plateau State where hundreds of innocent lives were lost and millions of naira worth of properties destroyed. This violence must be condemned by all well-meaning Nigerians.
“The Association commiserates with the good people of Plateau State, particularly the families affected and His Excellency, the State Governor, Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong who had invested so much energy in the last three years to ensure that peace and tranquillity are sustained for the well-being of all. We also appreciate the support of the Federal Government in deploying more security Personnel to sustain the peace and steps taken so far.
“We, however, regret that some unpatriotic citizens across the divide are hell-bent on destroying the long-term efforts to build peace in the State. The government must deal with those playing politics with the lives and property of ordinary citizens. It is our belief that there are no gainers, and all are losers in this crisis.
“Government, civil society peacebuilding activists and so many communities had invested so much in ending the cycles of violence and making the peace, and we should not allow these efforts to fail”.
MACBAN, however, noted “We are particularly concerned by a series of incendiary social media accounts, also relayed by the mainstream media that have further heightened the tension.
“One example will suffice here; a faceless group with the name “The Fulani Nationality Movement” (FUNAM), which came up with a very inflammatory press release which is aimed at fanning the embers of hatred and sowing the seeds of discord between the Fulani and other Nigerians.
“We make bold to say that to the best of our knowledge there is no such association in Nigeria. It was therefore hastily crafted to cash in on the unfortunate events in Jos in order to fuel the crisis further.
“Government should investigate this issue, find out the purveyors of such hate speech and prosecute them for their crimes against the Nigerian people.
“We urge the government to be fair and just to all in handling the crisis and provide necessary support and assistance to the victims in order to reduce their sufferings”.
Going forward, MACBAN said they welcome the Federal Government’s National Livestock Transformation Plan, which they say would reduce the feud between farmers and herders.
“The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders’ Association of Nigeria welcomes the Federal Government’s National Livestock Transformation plan, which we believe will go a long way in reducing the unnecessary feuds that had characterized the relationship between pastoralists and farmers across Nigeria.
“We urge all Nigerians to think along the lines of finding win-win solutions that would work for both pastoralists and farmers so that the country as a whole can progress.
“We also call on security agencies to be more proactive in dealing with signs and symptoms indicating the emergence of communal conflicts so that issues could be resolved before they get out of control.
We condemn the attitude of allowing communities blocking highways and hacking innocent travellers to death without them bearing the consequences.
MACBAN wishes to state emphatically that as an organization we don’t believe in reprisal attacks because two wrongs cannot make a right. We uphold the rule of law, we stand for peace and security for all and are willing to partner government at all levels and our neighbours to ensure that peace is restored, sustained and achieved.
“MACBAN is ready to work with religious leaders across the divide (Muslim/Christian) for the sustenance of peace and well being in Nigeria. As such we appeal to all religious leaders to be conscious of statements that will further increase religious intolerance in the country.
“We appeal to Nigerians especially the media to harp more on the much potential God Almighty had endowed this great country with, we should channel our energy toward improving on the many things that unite us in our shared humanity”.
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