SIR: We cannot also sweep under the carpet the intelligence shared by Senator Dagiri Alkali, the leader of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) that the herdsmen wields arms (AK47, Pump Action Machinegun, knives, charms, among other assault weaponry) as a form of self defence against cattle rustling. His words “…The Cattle rustlers have displaced the Fulani in Katsina, Zamfare, Kebbi, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Plateau and Benue and in some parts of Kogi. Millions of cattle have been taken from these herdsmen. So when somebody says a Fulani man killed somebody, I wonder why? How? It’s only a poor man that fights. But you, as the military people, you know self defence is an art. In the military, if you are attacked, you have to defend yourself. You have been squeezed; you have to find a way to survive.”
In a saner clime, Senator Alkali by now should have been invited for explanation on how his group acquires these arms into the nation for their ‘poor’ boys to ‘defend’ themselves.
The fact is there is no better explanation for some group of people to invade MOPOL Base in Benue and slaughter officers under any guise except TERRORISM. The President has been blackmailed by some quarters that he is quiet to give a clear policy direction to check these terrorists because he is also a Fulani man, and because he also rears cattle. I wish Your Excellency can address this from both fronts of strategic policy framework and operational attack on internal security forces.
It is against this background that I strongly urge the president to present executive bills on grazing and national livestock development to the National Assembly. I know that the National Anti-grazing bill may raise some eye brow; this is why the National Livestock Development Bill is necessary to provide a policy framework for the establishment of livestock reserves for grazing across the country, most especially in the North.
The office of the National Security Adviser and all service chiefs should develop a workable, effective and sustainable community security model. As at the last time agriculture-security related issues were discussed by this present government, the Minister of Agriculture Audu Ogbeh had contracted the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps to protect plants and livestock with a special strike force unit called Agro-Rangers Unit across the nation.
The President should declare the Miyetti Allah as a terrorist group; as a form of reformation of the Nigeria Cattle Breeders Association, a new group could be formed by the government with comprehensive identities of members known.
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