Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, has condemned the boastful statement by Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, that rampaging herdsmen massacred over 100 persons in Plateau State in retaliation for the loss of over 300 cows, demanding immediate repudiation of the claim and apology by the group to affected people and communities.
The umbrella Niger Delta body, in a statement, yesterday, by its National Secretary, Dr. Alfred Mulade, also accused the Federal Government of dragging its feet in taking sweeping actions against killer herdsmen, urging it to live up to its constitutional responsibility, as expression of regrets, condolences and promises were no longer acceptable.
The statement read: “PANDEF condemns in the strongest possible terms the statement credited to the Chairman of the North Central Chapter of MACBAN, Danladi Ciroma, that the attacks were retaliatory over cows lost by herdsmen in the last few weeks.
“That statement, to say the least is callous, insensitive and provocative. We call on the leadership of MACBAN to denounce it immediately, and apologise to the people of the affected communities, in the interest of peace and harmony.
“In as much as we do not support cattle rustling under any guise, it is, however, absurd that human lives are now being equated with those of cows in the country. That kind of statement gives the obvious impression that MACBAN supports and aids the spate of killings by herdsmen across the North Central region and other parts of the country.
“It is imperative for the government to thoroughly scrutinise the activities of MACBAN and also put its leadership under security watch,” the group added.
On alleged Federal Government’s hesitant attitude to the continuing bloodshed, PANDEF said: “Expressions of regret, condolences and mere promises are no longer acceptable. The government must live up to its constitutional responsibility of safeguarding lives and property of the citizens.
“It is worrisome that over time the government seems reluctant to take drastic actions against killer-herdsmen. It is this situation that has emboldened these killer herdsmen to continue their killings of innocent Nigerians across the country.”