The Kajuru chapter of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria and the Birnin-Gwari Emirate Council have decried the increasing wave of insecurity in the North.
They spoke separately to our correspondent in Kaduna State.
While the Miyetti Allah group warned that peace would remain elusive as long as their rights to living and source of livelihood were trampled upon, the emirate council said food crisis was imminent in its domain because of the activities of bandits.
MACBAN’s chairman, Musa Aliyu Ardo, who spoke to our correspondent on the sidelines of a capacity building workshop on conflict prevention in Kaduna on Thursday, insisted that herders were peace-loving people who co-exist with other tribes.
The capacity building workshop was organised by the office of the Vice President, and was aimed at tackling the herders/farmers’ clashes in the state.
It was funded by the Open Society Initiative For West Africa.
Leaders of MACBAN, Christian Association of Nigeria, Jama’atu Nasril Islam, representatives of traditional rulers, and community leaders met with officials from the Vice President’s office at the workshop.
According to the MACBN chief, herders are known for cattle rearing as their only source of livelihood and should be respected.
He noted that no herder would fold its arms and allow his source of livelihood or his rights to living trampled upon.
“Rearing cattle is the average herders’ life. We have no Western education. Any attempt to separate us from our cattle means depriving us of our source of livelihood.
“This is unacceptable and will be resisted,” he said.
Also, speaking with The PUNCH, spokesman to the Birnin-Gwari Emirate Council, Zubair Abdurra’uf (Dan-Masanin Birnin-Gwari), expressed concerns over the spate of kidnapping, armed robbery and banditry in the area.
He said should the governments at federal and state levels fail to act, food crisis was imminent, noting that “because farmers can no longer go to their farms, there is bound to be food crisis, not only in Birnin-Gwari but in the entire Northern Nigerian parts being confronted by insecurity.”
“As far as we are concerned, we suffered more than Zamfara State in terms of the activities of kidnapping, banditry and armed robbery,” he added.
He noted that the people of Birnin-Gwari were traumatised as a result of the activities of bandits such that “we can no longer sleep.”
On the way forward, the spokesman called for collaboration between the various security agencies and the vigilance group as well as the Forest Guards, with the view to successfully win the war against banditry, armed robbery and kidnapping in the North.