The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria has said that it was taking steps to identify criminals infiltrating its ranks amidst the incessant attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen in the country.
The National President of the association, Alhaji Mohammadu Kiruwa, disclosed this during a peace meeting on Wednesday with farmers in Benin, the state capital.
Kiruwa, who was represented by the National Secretary, Alhaji Baba Ngelzarma, maintained that the recent attacks on communities were carried out by bandits.
He stated, “The Sultan of Sokoto has given us a two-month mandate to fish out criminal elements among the herdsmen in the country. If those things (killings) that have been alleged have been done by the herdsmen, we must do all we could to fish out the criminal elements.
“He (Sultan) has given us the mandate and, in two months, he wants us to give him results. We have talked with our members and have also heard from them.
“We also taught them how we want them to behave because they are at the receiving end when trouble starts.”
Kiruwa continued, “We are here for peace; we are here to condemn the atrocities in whatever form by whoever. We are not a terrorist group.
“But we are a peace-loving association and that is why we have His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto, as the chairman (of the) board of trustees of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeder Association and we have other members like the Emir of Kano. We have the Lamido of Adamawa and the Emir of Katsina; these are other trustees of the association.”
The national president, however, lamented that over two million cattle had been lost to the criminals.
Kirowa explained, “Today, it is on record that our members have lost about two million cows as a result of cattle rustling. Our members also suffer from the hands of the kidnappers.
“Our members were not spared by the farmers and cattle breeders dispute. Although we know we have our fault there because of the relationship between the tongue and teeth; so, such a thing (dispute) is bound to happen.
“Those moving with sophisticated weapons are not cattle herders but cattle rustlers. We have had talks with our members and advised them on what to in relationship with their host communities.”