THE chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), South-East, Alhaji Gidado Sidikki has given some herdsmen a clean bill of health, saying that not all herdsmen are killers.
In Awka, Sunday, while delivering his Eid el-Kabir goodwill message, Sidikki insisted that criminals, irrespective of status or region should face the wrath of the law and not protected.
Sidikki prayed for peace amongst Nigerians as well as an improved peaceful atmosphere and understanding between “our host communities in the South-East and herdsmen who are genuinely engaged in the business of cattle rearing in the Eastern part of Nigeria.”
The MACBAN boss, who was in the company of the Sarkin Hausa, Alhaji Haruna Garuba said, “I maintain that criminals, wherever they are identified, should be made to face the full wrath of the laws of the land.”
He noted that the safety of the citizens remain the primary commitment of the government the world over hence, it should be replicated in Nigeria.
He added, “as I invite all in the celebration of Eid el-Kabir, I sincerely plead for better understanding in information peddling, so as to avoid the misinformation, half-truths and outright falsehood that the gullible public very often gets fed with.
“I plead with the government, traditional and religious leaders, as well as other influential groups in the South East not to relent in their advocacy for peaceful coexistence amongst Nigerians wherever they choose to live and ply their legitimate businesses.
Sidikki made the point that bandits and other criminals masquerading as Fulani herdsmen are going about committing crimes and people blame it on the herdsmen.
Almost every criminal activity, like kidnappers, armed robbery on the highways or villages have been blamed on the herdsmen and the MACBAN chairman insisted that in the South East, non-Fulani bandits are responsible for most of the killings and kidnappings that take place across the region.
He admitted that though there might be killers and criminals among the Fulani herdsmen, it is obvious that not all that are traced to the, are true because there are other tribes who dress like the herdsmen and could easily be mistaken as them. He named Shuwa Arabs, Kanuri, Tiv, Jukun and even the Igbo who would dress like Fulani and commit atrocities.
“I plead for truthfulness, fairness and restraints in information management so as to avoid tendencies of unfair blanket criminalization of any group of people.”
Speaking shortly after observing Eid prayers, the Sarkin Hausa in Awka, Ahaji Garuba, who is also the Special Adviser on non-Indigenes to Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, called on Muslim faithfuls in the state to use the occasion to not only reflect but to pray for peace and harmony in Nigeria.
He said, “my message to my Muslim brothers in Anambra is to pray for the peace of the country and the state. We will continue to pray for the governor and people of the state for peace to reign.”
Haruna harped on the need for the Muslim community to visit the Christian brothers and the leaderships of their host communities stressing that they have enjoyed relative peace with them.