The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria has pledged its commitment to peaceful coexistence between its members and their host communities in Nigeria’s South-east.
Clashes between herders and farmers, caused mainly by disputes over access to land, is among the leading security challenges in Nigeria.
The leader of the association in the South-east zone, Gidado Siddiki, who disclosed this on Monday to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu, said its members have had a good relationship with the indigenous people of the area, in spite of “some isolated cases of misunderstanding”.
Mr Siddiki said their interest in the area was purely economic, adding that no herder was interested in contesting the ownership of land with members of their host communities.
He commended state governments in the South-east for securing the area against banditry. He said the government at all levels has made efforts to find solutions to the security challenges in different parts of the country.
The Miyetti Allah leader, however, said that much still needed to be done to ensure that law-abiding citizens, including herders, were free to carry out their businesses without hindrances.
He said it was time Nigerians unite and seek ways to douse the tension and insecurity in parts of the country.
He said that as cattle breeders, “We only ask for a secure environment to do our business.
“We are ready to support the authorities to go after criminals and rid the forests and cities of such bad elements in order to make life better for everyone.”
He said as a trade group, no member of the association would willingly do anything to jeopardise the peaceful coexistence of Nigeria.
“As Nigerians, we should focus on those positive ideals that are mutually beneficial to all,” Mr Siddiki said.
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