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Herders, farmers declare for peace in southeast

The leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Enugu State chapter and other stakeholders have…

The leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Enugu State chapter and other stakeholders have agreed to continue to live in peace, despite whatever misunderstanding that must have happened in the past.

They said this was the only way to ensure peaceful co-existence between the cattle breeders and the farmers in the southeast zone of Nigeria, and advised the leadership of the two groups to help spread the “gospel of peaceful co-existence” to other zones as it was worthy of emulation.

Addressing newsmen after the meeting, the South-East zonal Chairman of Miyetti Allah, Alhaji Gidado Siddiki, said the interactive session was important so as to bring about enduring peace between the herdsmen and the farmers/host communities.

He also said the gathering was to dispel rumours on crises between farmers and herders across the country, stressing that the cattle breeders are not in the zone to terrorise their host communities.

“We are here to feed our cattle and we are not here to harm anybody. This meeting will bring us together so that the farmers will feel at home when they see the cattle breeders. The cattle breeders will equally take members of their host communities as their brothers and sisters,” he said.

He described the Fulanis as endangered species owing to their nomadic life since they traverse uncountable localities driven by the passion of growing their cattle.

Also, the AFAN Chairman, Mr Sunny Watarali, said the meeting had ushered in better understanding between the two groups.

Watarali said the main issue was that both herders and farmers needed to respect the culture and traditions of each other in order to ensure peaceful co-existence.

He said that host communities would not accept incidences “where cow mess up the source of community drinking water” while the host communities were also “not expected to kill the cattle at the slightest provocation.”

According to the AFAN chairman, “The grey areas have been sorted out. Both parties are to respect each other; respect the culture.” 

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