By; VICTOR DAZANG, Kaduna
Miyetti Cattle Breeders Association of NIgeria (MACBAN) has blamed bandits for ongoing attacks in Atyap Chiefdom, Zango Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
This was contained in a statement signed by its Chairman, Alh. Haruna Usman Tugga, made available to our correspondent in Kaduna on Friday, which said their members are also victims of such attacks. “We wish to clearly state that the Fulani pastoralists are equal victims of the atrocities of bandits who spare nobody.
“They are constantly rustling cows, kidnapping pastoralists and killing whenever they failed to pay ransoms as demanded by the bandits,” it said.
MACBAN explained that attacks on communities by bandits have nothing to do with Fulani pastoralists.
“We are using this platform to call on all the misguided youths across the divides, but particularly of the Atyap ethnic group to refrain from taking unilateral and violent actions by attacking Fulani pastoralists following every breach of security.
“Indeed, security agencies and other constituted authorities should be allowed to investigate every criminal action and attack on individuals and communities. We have seen how many of such investigations in the past found out that criminals within the same ethnic group were responsible for the crimes earlier thought to have been committed by Fulani pastoralists,” they said.
The group appealed to the state and local government, the traditional leaders and all peace loving citizens in the state to initiate interventions that will restore the areas to the path of peace.
“Lot of social re-orientation programmes are needed to change the negative mindset of the youths in the areas.
“Organisations and individuals promoting hate speech, inciting the public, mobilizing youths towards violence and provide any form of support towards violence are strongly urged to stop that. The security agencies need to act fast to stop these organizations and individuals for durable peace and stability to be attained not only in Atyap Chiefdom, but the entire state,” it advised.
MACBAN further appealed to the Kaduna State Government as a matter of urgency, to come over to assist the victims of violence.
“They are living in very precarious situations and need humanitarian assistance especially food and shelter in the midst of the heavy rains.
“We are also appealing on the Government and security agencies, particularly Operation Safe Haven to assist in rescuing rustled cows of the pastoralists and evacuate others still trapped in many Atyap villages. Our organization is most willing to provide support in this process, especially in identifying the owners of the recovered animals.
“We are as well appreciating the security agencies efforts and rapid response during the incidences especially the military outfit of “OPERATION SAFE HEAVEN” for their untiring efforts in curbing the insecurity challenges in the area.
“We are commiserating with the families of those that their houses and properties were destroyed. In these sad times, we are appealing to them to be calm and to exercise maximum restrains. We assure them that our Association with explore means of ensuring justice for the wrongs done to them as provided for in the Laws and Constitution of the country,” the group appealed.
They assured that in due course, they will be addressing a press conference to provide more accurate and authentic information relating to these disturbances.
“We have already initiated processes to generate the needed records and information that will guide our further actions,” they pointed out.