According to reports, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, has reacted to Governor Ayodele Fayose’s inauguration of a vigilante group, Ekiti Grazing Enforcement Marshals, EGEM, popularly called ‘Anti-malu’, stating that the move is “in furtherance of his threat to banish our members (Fulani herdsmen) from Ekiti State”.
MACBAN said Fayose unleashed the marshals “against our members whose herds of cattle had gone to a stream at Agon Bridge on Federal Polytechnic road between the time of 2:00 – 2:30 PM to quench their thirst on Friday 21st October 2016”, claiming that the vigilante group shot five cows and carted away with the meat but the herdsman was able to flee with the rest of his cattle.
Stressing that its members are bona fide citizens of the country, the group, in a statement issued on Saturday by its spokesman, Baba Othman Ngelzarma, sought the intervention of the federal government “before this macabre incident develops into unquenchable inferno involving our members and Ekiti State government”.
MACBAN charged the Governor to issue an apology and compensate its members who lost five cows, warning that cattle breeders would not sit idly by while they are being denied their only means of livelihood.
The statement reads, “No Cattle strayed into anybody’s farmland around that area in question. As such, the actions of the Anti-malu vigilante are not ant only provoking, but capable of creating uncontrollable scenarios whose ramification may go well beyond Ekiti State.
“As far as we know , Ekiti State is not an island of its own , but a State within the federal Republic of Nigeria and while the Governor is permitted to carry out actions geared towards protecting the interest of Ekiti State, such actions should follow the rule of law.
“We deplore this act of brigandage and call on Governor Ayodele Fayose to offer an unreserved apology to MACBAN, and equally set machinery in motion with a view to compensate our members who lost five cows in this primitive adventure.
“That the brutality of the Ekiti Grazing enforcement marshals (popularly known as Anti- malu) on herdsmen is even outside the time stipulated by that law (if the law exists at all).
“The federal overnment should therefore look into the actions and activities of this committee because we cannot fold our hands while the only means of survival of our members is taken away and destroyed.
“MACBAN has instructed victims of this aggression and its members nationwide to exercise maximum restrain while we work towards resolving this unfortunate incident through mature and civilized manners.
“MACBAN further sympathized with the government of Kaduna State, Sokapu and entire Kaduna South inhabitants over the recent incident that had claimed so many lives as a result of a discord between our members and communities surrounding Godogodo environ.
“We see this act as an upsolute brutality exhibited by the perpetrators and condemnable in all its ramifications. We call on the security to do all it could to fish out and bring these criminals to book.”