The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN) has urged the Federal Government to introduce a social support programmes to alleviate the huge losses of livestock for herdsmen across the country.
This is contained in a communique of a one-day national executive meeting of MACBAN and the Chairman Board of Trustees (BoT), the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III in Abuja.
The communique jointly signed by the association’s President, Muhammad Kiruwa and National Secretary, Baba Othman Ngelzarma, said that over five million cattle have been lost to banditry, cattle rustling, kidnapping and climate change, which adversely affect the herdsmen, hence the need for a form of palliative to ameliorate their plights.
The meeting condemned how 1,730 cows were brazenly rustled in Kafin Koro in Mariga local Government in Niger State last week rendering several families destitute.
They, therefore, urged the Federal Government to take immediate action against local criminal gangs known as “Yansakai” in Kebbi and Niger states who are involved in the wanton killings of 153 innocent pastoralists from March 2020 to January 2021 and about 30 people killed in Bangin.
The meeting held with the 36 state chairmen of the federation and FCT was to review the deteriorating security situation in the country as it affects its members and the continuing stereotyping by the social and the mass media that all herdsmen are criminals and bandits.
The meeting commended the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), Dr. Kayode Fayemi and the governors of Kebbi and Jigawa states for their timely intervention in dousing the tension generated following the purported quit notice given to herdsmen in Ondo State.
The meeting also appreciated the efforts of Dr. Ahmed Gumi and his team for initiating religious sensitization of pastoralists in Kaduna State and preaching against crime and criminality.
“It also calls on the Federal Government to introduce social support programmes to alleviate the huge losses of livestock; over five million cattle have been lost as a result of banditry, cattle rustling, kidnapping and climate change.
“The meeting calls on the Federal Government to carry out sensitization and re-orientation programmes for pastoralists and revamp the nomadic education programme for their children. It also calls on the Federal Government to deal decisively with our porous borders that makes it possible for the massive proliferation of arms and impose the implementation of ECOWAS transhumance certificate protocol to check influx of herdsmen from neighbouring countries,” the communique read.
The herders pledged its cooperation and support to federal and state governments, traditional rulers and security agencies in the fight against banditry and kidnapping across the country.