MACBAN and national butchering, by Tola Adeniyi

Abuja must act today, and treat the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, the umbrella body of Fulani herdsmen, as just an Association. A business group like any other trade group, which should not be allowed to indulge in criminal activities

I begin this piece with the report of the 2014 ‘national’ election of the executive of Miyetti as recorded by Google and to convince Nigerians that MACBAN is just a Business Association like the Carpenters Guild, like the Fishermen association of Delta, like the farmers Association of Igbeti.
The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, according to Premium Times report, has elected new set of ‘national’ leaders to run the activities of the organization for the next four years. The election was conducted on Saturday in Sokoto at the national congress of the body.
MACBAN is the apex body of all Fulani cattle breeders in Nigeria.
In a keenly contested poll, Muhammad Kirowa emerged as National President with 97 votes. He defeated Bello Wamakko from Sokoto State who got 32 votes. Yarima Dangirga from Kaduna state got five votes, Mai Aliyu from Yobe State got nine votes and Saidu Maikano from Plateau State got one vote. Hussein Bosso from Niger State and Jauro Gari from Bauchi States were elected 1st and 2nd vice president respectively. The election for National secretary was keenly contested between Sale Bayari from Plateau state and Baba Usman Ngelzarma from Yobe state. Mr. Usman Ngelzarma emerged as winner after netting 92 votes against 61 netted by Mr. Bayari. Ismaila Ribeji from Katsina was elected PRO while Abubakar Bello – Sarkin shanun Gombe emerged as Treasurer. Adamu Isa Muhammad was elected as National youth leader.
Apparently there is nothing national about this purely Fulani outfit.
It has become necessary to make this clarification in view of the recent statement credited to the Secretary General of the Fulani Herdsmen that the Benue state Governor has no constitutional right to evict the slaughtering Fulani herdsmen from his state after almost 1000 lives had been lost to the butchering herdsmen terrorizing his state.
The Secretary General had said: “We are wary of the statement allegedly credited to the governor requesting herdsmen to relocate out of the state.”
Mr. Usman-Ngelzarma described the statement by the governor as “unconstitutional” and said herdsmen could not be exempted from enjoying similar rights of free movement as being enjoyed by other Nigerians.
“We demand that the laws of the land must be allowed to function without let or hindrance,” he said.
Mr. Ortom, the Governor of Benue State had given Fulani herdsmen in Tombo-Mbalagh, Buruku Local Government Area of Benue two days to leave the area following a weekend attack in which eight people died.
The Fulani herdsmen regarded as the world’s 4th bloodiest terrorist group cannot be described as a “peaceful” association to be accorded free movement as they plunder the farmlands all over the country.
The Unitary Government in Abuja must wake up to its responsibilities and stop condoning the recklessness and the marauding brutish onslaught of the Fulani herdsmen. What the Government should know which it has pretended to be blind and deaf to is that the Miyetti Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria is an ordinary business organization. It is an Association like the Okada Riders Association of Nigeria.
Some State governments have had cause to ban the Okada Riders Association in some areas of the state. Miyetti Cattle Breeders is not a Federal Government Corporation. Cattle Breeders are the same as fish farmers or Tuber or Cocoa farmers. It is not the business of the federal Government to treat the rampaging Fulani herdsmen as sacred cows.
Nigerians are tired of the condoned excesses of the butchering Fulani herdsmen and the earlier the Abuja Government summons appropriate political will to deal with this nauseating mess the better for the future corporate existence of this suffering country.
The Fulani herdsmen are encouraged to behave as if they are above the laws of the land. They are the only sacred body allowed to parade AK47 rifles without challenge or hindrance. Even armed robbers and kidnappers still hide their weapons. But the Fulani herdsmen, the Miyetti Allah terrorists, go from farmland to farmland across the country brandishing deadly weapons and plundering, maiming, killing and raping owners of farmlands being destroyed.
Abuja must act today, and treat the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, the umbrella body of Fulani herdsmen, as just an Association. A business group like any other trade group, which should not be allowed to indulge in criminal activities.
Nigeria is not the only country in the world breeding cows. Nigeria does not have 1% of the cattle in Argentina or Australia . Those countries herdsmen run their business in ranches without disturbing the peace of their neighbours or destroying the businesses of other people.
Unless there is an ulterior political motive to the Fulani herdsmen brigandage, this butchering across the country MUST stop.
. Chief Adeniyi is a former Chairman/MD Daily Times and former Federal Permanent Secretary in the Presidency.