The southeast zone of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has agreed with the position of the government on treating herdsmen in illegal possession of AK-47 guns as criminals.
The Chairman of the group, Gidago Sidikki stated this on Thursday when he said this will further show the commitment of his people to supporting peace in areas where they operate.
His declaration follows a statement credited to the Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano who is reported to have instructed traditional rulers, vigilantes, police, and other security agencies to treat any herder found in possession of AK47 as armed robbers.
The MACBAN boss in his reaction said the Governor’s position is not different from the agreement between the southeast governors and the Miyetti Allah association, adding that his members are ready to comply.
“The governor’s order is in line with the already established agreement between the southeast governors and the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, that any herder or others found in possession of a gun should be treated as criminal,” he said.
“My members have been having a good relationship with their host communities, in spite of some isolated cases of misunderstanding, which is normal in every human existence.
“Our interest in the zone was purely economic, and no herder is interested in contesting the ownership of land with members of their host communities. We expect the host communities to see us as brothers, who come to do business in their area,” he added.
Sidikki however clarified that MACBAN is not responsible for the blockade of food products between the North and the South, explaining that the Amalgamated Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers Association of Nigeria solely responsible for the strike.
He added that the foodstuff and cattle dealers association embarked on the action in protest of the incessant killing and harassment of its members in different parts of the country.
“The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, as a body has no hand in the blockade of foodstuff from North to Southern Nigeria,” he stated.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday directed the Nigerian Army, Police and other security agencies to shoot anyone seen with AK-47.
This was made known by the President’s media assistant, Garba Shehu, during an interview with the BBC.
Asked what efforts are being made to rid Zamfara and other northern states of bandits, Shehu said Buhari directed a clampdown on bandits who have refused to surrender.