The South-East leader of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Gidado Siddiki, in a press statement in Awka, Anambra State, said the group least expected such decision from the Igbo who he described as “the major bonding elements among the people of Nigeria.”
He added, “It was surprising to us considering the cordial relationship that had existed in the zone between us and the state governments.”
Siddiki said Miyetti Allah had never failed to appreciate the commitment of the host governors in ensuring the safety of his members.
The South-East Governors’ Forum had at a meeting in Enugu on Sunday unanimously agreed not to donate land for ranching in the zone.
But Siddiki in his statement said the governors’ decision did not show exemplary leadership.
He said, ”It is our candid view that the South-East whose citizens are the major bonding elements among the people of Nigeria would provide exemplary leadership in accommodating other Nigerians in their midst.
“It is evident that our organisation’s advocacy for peaceful coexistence among indigenous farmers and herdsmen is increasingly making successes in the South-East.
“This explains our surprise at the latest stand of the governors which would not only frustrate our people from carrying out our legitimate livestock rearing business in this part but might be suggestive of a kind of suspicion that might undermine the mutuality of the claim of brotherhood.
“We are mindful of the various negotiations and consultations still going on in respect of the contentious issues of ranching, colonies and grazing areas across the country, we are hopeful that these issues are considered dispassionately in the interest of Nigeria and the generality of its citizens.”
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