SWITZERLAND, JUNE 21 – The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association(MACBAN) has endorsed Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi as the president of Nigeria, come 2023.
This is coming as the Fulani organization called for the establishment of Fulani vigilante groups in the South East, a proposal that has been condemned by socio-cultural groups Afenifere and Ohanaeze.
Speaking at the South East Security Summit in Enugu, Alhaji Muhammadu Kirowa, the national president of the group, declared that Umahi was the next president of Nigeria after Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure ends in 2023.
Kirowa, who was represented by the national secretary of MACBAN, Baba Othman Ngalzarma, said Umahi, as the chairman of the South-East Governors’ Forum, was able to create an atmosphere of conviviality between the Fulani herdsmen and their respective South-East hosts.
He said the group was impressed that the Ebonyi State governor was able to persuade his counterparts in the South-East to cue into his programme of peaceful coexistence.
“We say a big thank you. We really appreciate your wonderful disposition and your outstanding desires for peace. What this country needs are visionary leaders like you,” Kirowa said.
He said the group was particularly grateful to Umahi for the cooperation and support he extended to their members in the form of free and compulsory education to their school age children.
Kirowa dispelled what he called media hyperbole and spread of falsehood of an imminent invasion of the South-East by their members.
He said: “South-East will not boil. If South-East is going to boil we will not be at this summit in large numbers. South-East is also not stubborn; otherwise, we will not be here today.”
He said if all governors in Nigeria emulated what the South-East governors were doing, “Nigeria will definitely come out quickly from the menace of insecurity the country is suffering”.
He applauded the governments of Enugu and Anambra states “for the establishment of peace and security committees with MACBAN fully represented to tackle any conflict that may arise between our members and host communities, and I am sure these committees are working round the clock”.
He also called on its members to respect the traditions and culture of host communities and be open for dialogue at all times.
“MACBAN stands for truth, justice and equity for all and does not and will not condone criminality even within its own fold,” Kirowa said.
Governor Dave Umahi, who was represented by the deputy governor, lamented that Nigeria was facing a very serious security challenge.
He said in all the zones, there was one security challenge or another.
“If it is not rustlers, it is the herdsmen; if it is not bandits, it is armed robbers and kidnappers. There is even cybercriminals ravaging the internet.”
He admonished the MACBAN to prevail on its members to always respect the traditions, customs and culture of their host communities in order to have a sustainable relationship between the farmers and the herdsmen.
He was full of praise for the commissioners of police in the South-East, observing that no commissioner of police in the zone had been accused of compromise.