By Osagie Otabor, Akure
The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN) has directed herders to stop night and underage grazing in the South West immediately.
National President of MACBAN, Alhaji Muhammadu Kirowa, gave the order after a meeting with South West Governors, security agencies and members of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) in Akure, capital of Ondo State.
Kirowa stated the menace of banditry, cattle rustling and kidnapping emerged from poor management of farmer /herder conflict, which he said gave rise to cattle rustling as well as kidnapping and banditry.
According to him: “We are against the senseless acts of banditry and kidnapping across the country. We are directing members of our State Executives to work with constituted security outfits.
“The security outfits must be designed to work with, all stakeholders as this will engender inclusiveness and peace also they must within the ambit of the law.
“We are open to working with the forum in designing what we think can work in solving these problems. We condemn all sorts of criminality, extrajudicial killings and the impunity that is associated with it.
“Security agencies can testify how we work with them to arrest criminals.”
A communiqué at the end of the meeting described insecurity as a national challenge and not peculiar to any tribe or region.
It reads in parts: “The order of the Ondo State Governor was misconstrued and misrepresented by a section of the media. He only ordered those occupying the Forest Reserves in Ondo State illegally to quit.
“Criminals should be apprehended and punished, no matter their origin, class or status. Security agencies have been trying to stem the tide of criminality in the country but must step up their efforts in the fight.
“Underage herding is inimical to security and hence be banned. Occupation of State Forest Reserves illegally is condemned.
“That free-range grazing must be stopped to avoid conflicts between the farmers and the herders.”
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