Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders’ Association (MACBAN) on Saturday condemned the call credited to its sister group, the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, which urged herders to defend themselves against attacks by ethnic militia in the southern region.
The MACBAN national secretary, Baba Usman, told newsmen in Abuja that his organisation was shocked to read media reports that said a leader of Kautal Hore had asked Fulani herders to retaliate any attack or attempt to restrict them in southern Nigeria.
Recalls that the Kautal Hore also said Fulani herders have equal rights to all land in southern Nigeria, notwithstanding that specific ethnic and tribal groups have occupied those lands for centuries.
However, the comments by the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore group sparked a huge blowback as MACBAN Secretary said: “We read the comments of Kautal Hore in the newspapers today and we were shocked as most Nigerians.
“We totally condemn it because it is dangerous to the peace of the country.”
Usman also clarified that MACBAN as the foremost cattle breeders’ group in Nigeria had long focused on how Nigerians could coexist in peace and security.
“Even though we are a group mostly known as Fulani cattle breeders, we are only interested in actions and discussions that will improve Nigeria’s peace and stability.
“Nigerians should not see us as agents of destabilisation,” he said.
MACBAN further dissociated itself from Kautal Hore, saying it had been registered since 1986, while Kautal Hore had been a fringe group of disgruntled breeders who registered less than 10 years ago.
“We tried to ensure that they were not registered because of the similarities in names, but politicians who wanted to use them against us ensured they were registered by force,” Usman said.
Usman added that it was unfortunate that Kautal Hore still regularly makes headlines for its controversial statements.
“We have issued several statements in the past to educate the public on the difference between MACBAN and Kautal Hore but we have now realised that would not be enough,” he added.
The MACBAN secretary said the association has planned a summit and workshop for reporters and editors on the differences between the two groups with the hope that it would reduce raging confusion in how their activities are reported.
“If we are able to get media practitioners to understand our operations and how unrelated we are with Kautal Hore, then the masses will be better educated also,” he added.