Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has condemned the Human Right Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) for calling its members terrorists.
The umbrella body of herders insisted that it was different from Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore and warned the rights group to stop ascribing the actions and comments of the latter to it.
MACBAN noted that HURIWA coordinator, Emmanuel Onuwbiko, also recently advised ethnic groups in the country to defend their rights over “terrorism unleashed on the Nigeria space by armed Fulani herdsmen and Miyetti Allah Cattle Owners Association”.
National Secretary, Baba Othman Ngelzarma, in a statement Friday night stated that HURIWA has been issuing provocative statements capable of stigmatizing every Fulani who owns cattle in the country as a terrorist or a potential one.
He said: “The people HURIWA quoted to have made statements on Ruga have nothing to do with MACBAN and neither did MACBAN say anything to warrant being tagged “Supporter of Terrorism”. It amounts to reckless mischief by a group who ought to know better that their writings have the power to cause genocide. Rwanda is an example on how writers caused the genocide of Tutsis and moderate Hutus in which over a million people were killed.
“For the avoidance of doubt the MIYETTI ALLAH KAUTAL HORE is a different entity from Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) which is a duly registered association. If HURIWA feels strongly about their statements and wishes to react, it should not drag MACBAN into such.
“MACBAN has held engagements with renowned bodies such as USAID, Mercy Corps, Search for Common Ground, Interfaith Mediation Centre and Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue. It has met with the leadership of Southern Christians, Traditional Rulers, South West and South East Governors, among others.
“We also had fruitful engagements with various security agencies to mitigate conflict affecting our members who have lost many lives, properties and over 2 million cows as a result of insurgency in the North East, cattle rustling, banditry, kidnapping and in the various Farmers/Herders conflicts.
“MACBAN also went ahead to sign collaboration documents with the National leadership of all Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) to jointly work together at all levels of government to ensure peaceful co-existence between Herders and farmers.
“We are committed to peace and security for all and our doors are always open to those who want to move this country forward. Crime should be associated to criminals only. We will not tolerate any organization to jeopardize the lives of an entire race for crimes perpetrated by a few criminal elements. Each and every ethnic group has its own criminals and they should be dealt with decisively.
“If HURIWA truly cares about Human Rights, let it condemn the killing of Fulanis by thugs at the Gboko Motor Park and Daudu in the outskirts of Makurdi; the murder of 724 pastoralist at Gembu in Taraba on the 18th – 22nd of June, 2017; the murder of 126 women and children at Numan in Adamawa on 17th November, 2017; the killing of 131 people at Kajuru in Kaduna on 11th February, 2019 (mostly women and children); the extra judicial killing of 20 pastoralists at Keana in Nasarawa by overzealous security men on the 2nd and 3rd of April, 2014, among others.
“These were crimes against humanity and to date no one is being prosecuted, even where the alleged culprits are well known to authorities and these are just the tip of the iceberg. In this era of social media, we must restrain ourselves from fanning embers of hatred and division but instead strive to build a united country”, the MACBAN scribe added.