Herdsmen demand establishment of Fulani vigilantes in Igbo communities

The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has made known its request for the establishment of vigilante group made up of youths from Fulani extraction in the Southeast region.

Herdsmen in the region are said to have been having difficulties going about their business in the area, largely because of their clash with farmers in the Igbo predominantly area.

While farmers accuse the herders of trampling upon their farm produce with their animals, the cowherds in turn allege their cows are being killed by the farmers.

MACBAN, an umbrella body of herdsmen in the country, made the demand on Thursday during the region’s Security summit organized by South East Chambers of Commerce, Mines and Agriculture, (SECCIMA) in collaboration with South East Governors Forum (SEGF) in Enugu.

Speaking as it affects herdsmen, the National President of MACBAN, Alhaji Mohammadu Kirowa regretted that once insecurity was mentioned in Nigeria, the first idea that comes into minds was Fulani herdsmen.

Represented by the National Secretary, Alhaji Baba Usman Ngelzerma, MACBAN noted that the Fulani vigilante will help in curbing the issue of security between herders and farmers.

“The Fulani Youth Vigilant body will be working with the security, the neighborhood watch or vigilante to ensure security in all communities,” Kirowa said adding the measure has been adopted by the Enugu state government.

“We will solicit for your support and cooperation in adopting dialogue where problems exist as a means of brokering peace and to report cases against our members to either the Fulani Youth Vigilante Group, state or local branch of the association,” he added.

Responding, the Chairman of the South East Governors Forum and Governor of Ebonyi state, David Umahi who was represented by his Deputy, Kelechi Igwe stated that the region cannot engage in policy of exclusion to limit any farmer or herder, but that rules of engagement should be observed in every relationship.