Herdsmen: South West Governors Reach Agreement with Cattle Breeders

Herdsmen: South West Governors Reach Agreement with Cattle Breeders

A meeting between Governors of the South West geo-political zone with the leadership of Miyetti-Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) which held in Akure, the Ondo State capital on Monday yielded positive resolutions on peaceful co-existence between farmers and herdsmen. The meeting was witnessed by Governors of Jigawa and Kebbi states. South-West governors in

A meeting between Governors of the South West geo-political zone with the leadership of Miyetti-Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) which held in Akure, the Ondo State capital on Monday yielded positive resolutions on peaceful co-existence between farmers and herdsmen. The meeting was witnessed by Governors of Jigawa and Kebbi states.

South-West governors in attendance were Dr. Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti State), Seyi Makinde (Oyo State), Gboyega Oyetola (Osun State) and Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State. Governors of Jigawa State, Muhammad Abubakar and his Kebbi State counterpart, Abubakar Bagudu were also in attendance.

The meeting came up with an 18-point Agenda to drive lasting solution to the recurring incessant killings, kidnapping and communal crises between herdsmen and farmers in the South West zone.

The meeting was called on the heels of the expiration of a one week deadline given to the herdsmen to vacate government forest reserves from where it is believed those perpetrating criminal acts take a refuge.

The meeting resolved as follows:
1. The security and welfare of the people of Nigeria is the primary purpose of Government as enshrined in the 1999 constitution of Nigeria as amended.

2. The stakeholders are committed to the unity and indivisibility of Nigeria.

3. Insecurity is a national challenge and not peculiar to any tribe or region but must be addressed by the cooperation of all.

4. The order of the Ondo State Governor was misconstrued and misrepresented by a section of the media. He only ordered those occupying the Forest Reserves in Ondo State illegally to quit.

5. Criminals should be apprehended and punished, no matter their origin, class or status.

6. Security agencies have been trying to stem the tide of criminality in the country but must step up their efforts in the fight.

7. There is the need to build partnership for peace and security with MACBAN and jointly wage war against criminality.

8. No one had sent anyone away from any state or region but all hands must be on deck to fight criminality.

9. MACBAN is a peace loving, law abiding organization which does not habour or condone criminals and agreed that:

(i) Night grazing should be banned henceforth

(ii) Under age herding is Inimical to security and hence be banned

(iii) Occupation of State Forest Reserves illegally is condemned.

10. MACBAN also suffers insecurity and kidnapping and thus desire peaceful coexistence.

11. MACBAN is ready for any peaceful move by the states to engender security.

12. Fake news is another issue that makes our security worse than solving it.

13. There must be an enduring framework with MACBAN in a way that will help address security issues.

14. That free range grazing must be stopped to avoid conflicts between the farmers and the herders

15. Strengthening an alternative security arrangements and make them complementary to the mainstream security agencies in Nigeria.

16. MACBAN should embrace and be committed to modern breeding process by creating grazing reserves and practice ranching to prevent cattle roaming about.

17. Standing Committee comprising of farmers, MACBAN and the Government should be set up in each state (where they don’t exist) to ensure synergy and result.

18. We must create economic opportunities for our people and reduce opportunities for criminalities in our country.

To demonstrate his acceptance of the resolutions, the National President of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) Alhaji Muhammadu Kiruwa immediately directed Fulani Herders across the Southwest to put an end to both night and underage grazing.

Kiruwa also warned herders to desist from taking their cows to people’s farms for grazing adding that the frequent farmers/herders clash must be brought to an end.

The MACBAN President who spoke at the venue of the meeting with the Governors said the order given by Governor Akeredolu was not new but has been issued two years ago, adding that those who wished to remain in the government forest reserve should get registered.

While stressing that MACBAN is a peaceful association that values peace and condemned criminalities in any form, the President said MACBAN will continue to work with security agencies to fish out criminals.

MACBAN Southwest Zonal Chairman said the association was ready to abide by the rules and regulations of the government, saying that Governor Akeredolu never asked the Fulanis to leave Ondo State but to get registered if they are illegally occupying the government forest reserves.

He expressed their readiness to support the governors and the security agencies in bringing the criminals masquerading as herdsmen to justice.

Ayo Aluko-Olokun
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