By Rotimi Ojomoyela
The Chairman of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria(MACBAN) in Ekiti State, Alhaji Adamu Abache, has advised Ekiti State government to embark on mandatory registration of Fulani herdsmen living in Ekiti .
Abeche, said the bio-data should be done at the local government areas where the herders live and carry out business transactions.
According to him, “The government must know where we live and where we do our businesses and whoever perpetrates criminal activities can be traced, arrested and handed over to the police”.
Abache who ordered his members to henceforth expose any herdsman seen perpetrating crime in the state, noted that revealing the identities of Fulani herdsmen with criminal tendencies would protect the integrity of herders doing legitimate businesses in Ekiti and disabuse the minds of Nigerians that all herdsmen are criminals .
The MACBAN leader spoke in Ado Ekiti, on Thursday, during a security meeting organised by the Ekiti State chapter of the Police Community Relations Committee(PCRC) for all ethnic nationalities in the state.
Speaking at the event where participants brainstormed on how to ensure peaceful co-existence among ethnic groups to tackle insecurity, Abache said MACBAN had banned the use of under age for cattle rearing in the state .
He said: “Fulani herdsmen living in Ekiti are for peace and we will continue to live together with our hosts in peace. Our own support will always be to the government of the day for all of us to enjoy peace.
“But the goverment should help us by providing Identity Cards for all members, because the herdsmen are facing a lot of challenges in the forests regarding identification.
“The government must mandatorily register the number of Fulani herdsmen living in Ekiti . The bio-data must be done through our local government heads . The government must know where we live and where we do our businesses and whoever perpetrates criminal activities can be traced, arrested and handed over to the police.
“We want to bring to your notice that we have canceled the idea of using under age children for cattle rearing. I have ordered my people to expose any herder or group of herders found perpetrating criminality, because we want peace and we want to live in peace with Ekiti people”.
The Head of Hausa Community in Ekiti, Alhaji Adamu Liman , said the issue of kidnapping had been existing for over three decades in the country, but added that it has become more lucrative through payment of huge ransoms.
Liman submitted that though herdsmen might not have been absolutely innocent of the litany of kidnapping allegations leveled against them, but stating that it would also be biased and premature for people to conclude that Fulani herders were solely responsible for the crime around the country.
“This is where I support this issue of registration as mooted by Miyetti Allah. Government through our royal fathers must know those who live around them, those who are in their farmsteads and what they are capable of doing. This is the best way to curb insecurity”.
The PCRC chairman in Ekiti, Mr. Sunday Makinde, disclosed that the meeting was conceptualised to fashion a way of resolving all the litany of security hiccups being experienced in Ekiti in recent time.
Makinde said the challenges of herders-farmers clashes, kidnapping, banditry and rape would be tackled easily with all the diverse ethnic groups making resolute commitment to help the government in tackling the crises.
“It is better to take proactive action now in order to prevent a conflict that could possibly engulf a whole subregion , and become a humanitarian crisis in the world. All hands must be on deck in order to address all forms of security challenges in Nigeria, as they are happening now”.