Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Afenifere accuses Miyetti Allah of terror threat

The Afenifere Renewal Group has criticised the statements attributed to the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, over the recent inauguration of Anti-Grazing Enforcement Marshals in Ekiti State.
In a statement Monday, the Yoruba socio-political body said the cattle breeders group’s reaction to the creation of the Marshals is an assault on Yoruba people and “will be treated as a terror threat until an apology is tendered”.
“Such open threat against the people and government that accommodate your business interest is terrorism,” said Kunle Famoriyo, ARG’s publicity secretary.
Governor Ayodele Fayose, last week, inaugurated a team that would enforce the Prohibition of Cattle and other Ruminants Grazing law in Ekiti State.
The law restricts animal grazing to designated ranches within the state and between 7:00 am and 6:00 pm.
But the Miyetti Allah group accused the governor of using the Marshals to harass their members and to seize their cattle.
“We have been reliably alerted (by) an impeccable source in Ado-Ekiti that the Anti-Malu vigilante group (as the Marshalls are referred to in the state) shot five cows and carted away with the meat but the herdsmen (sic) was able to flee with the rest of his cattle,” a representative of the group, Othman Ngelzarma, said in a statement last weekend.
“We are hereby constrained to implore the federal government through its security agencies to wade into this unprovoked and primitive aggression against our members, before this macabre incident develops into unquenchable inferno involving our members and Ekiti State government.”
In its statement on Monday, the ARG said the Miyetti Allah group, MACBAN, had always exonerated its members from herdsmen’s crimes, blaming it on “foreigners from other countries”.
“Sanity therefore prescribes that MACBAN should be happy for the enactment of such law that will ensure genuine cattle breeders are not stigmatized by these criminals from other countries,” said Mr. Famoriyo.
“The new law, being first of its kind, may not be perfect and its enforcement may not be smooth initially.
“The responsibility therefore lies on major stakeholders to organise sensitisation workshops for its members so that the new law can achieve its objective of stemming crises arising from herdsmen-farmers relations.”
“MACBAN has so far shunned this democratic approach and preferred to use intimidation and warring tactics and languages.”
The ARG said the right of governors, as the chief security officers of their respective states, to make laws consistent with the culture and rights of their people should not be wished away by intimidation or threat.
“We recall that in 2013, the Hisbah Police in Kano reportedly destroyed more than 20,000 crates of beer bottles,” said Mr. Famoriyo.
“Despite the freedom of movement and trade guaranteed by the Constitution, what mattered then was that Kano does not want beer within its jurisdiction – even though it hypocritically shares from the VAT generated from sales of alcohol in other states.”
Between 2013 and 2015, the Kano State Hisbah Board, the state’s religious police, destroyed 326,151 bottles of beer, in enforcement of the ban on alcoholic beverages in the state.
“Why should governors of northern states have the freewill to protect their people and religious disposition, while their southern counterparts are subjected to intimidation?” Mr. Famoriyo asked.
“Nigeria is not a slave camp of any ethnic nationality and MACBAN’s statement is therefore considered an assault on Yoruba people and will be treated as a terror threat until an apology is tendered.”
-Premium Times

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