THE leaders of Miyyeti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) have been enjoined to urgently seek and adapt to modern ways of rearing and breeding their cattle like their counterparts in other parts of the world do.
A non-governmental organization (NGO) Naturecracy Association of Nigeria (NAON) based in Onitsha, told journalists Monday that until MACBAN adapts, it will be caught in constant conflict with other members of society.
The National President of NAON, Prince Chinedu Nsoffor faulted the request by the Fulani to set up Vigilance groups in the South East states and said that the request is inappropriate and will set both parties on a collision course.
He said: “Everything is wrong with this demand. It is illogical. How can they leave their zone to secure another man’s land? Is this a selfless service or is it with unclear motives? It is obvious that it is the lives of their cows they want to secure and not the lives of any Igbo man. We know that they consider their cows more valuable than the crops, properties and lives of Ndigbo. This is not right.
“The Igbo suspect ulterior motives here. Judging from how the herdsmen are killing farmers in Igbo land and elsewhere in the country. The Igbo do not roam cows, goats and sheep to avoid the destruction of the property of neighbours.
“Ndigbo are civilised and respect the rights of neighbours. It is a taboo in any Igbo village to destroy farm crops and economic trees. This demand, if granted will therefore conflict with the Igbo, who are mainly farmers. There are fears already that Miyetti Allah plans to over run the people, killing them and burning their villages. The fear is also fuelled by the recent order aimed at tacitly disarming the people by surrendering their duly licenses arms to the Police and Army.
Nsoffor noted further that the cattle rearers are usually heavily armed and ready to kill contrary to the teachings of Islam and the injunctions of Prophet Mohammed that: “…never forget that a Prince is to build up and not to destroy, to heal and not to wound”
While pointing out that people should change with the demands of time he called on Ndigbo to start gettin into ranching to rear goats and cows to compete with the Fulani cattle rearers.
He asked Ndigbo to be ready to defend themselves and to do all within their powers not to allow outsiders lord it over them on their God given abode.