The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, has condemned Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State over the introduction of the Ekiti Grazing Enforcement Marshals, EGEM, a vigilante group whose job is to ‘arrest’ cows that were allegedly damaging farms in the state.
The association said Fayose’s action was not well thought through and was targeted at “our members who are bonafide Nigerians.”
Spokesman for the group, Othman Ngelzarma, said in a statement accused the newly-formed group of having “shot five cows and carted away the meat but the herdsman was able to flee with the rest of his cattle.”
He added: “As far as we know, Ekiti State is not an island of its own, but a state within the Federal Republic of Nigeria and while the governor is permitted to carry out actions geared towards protecting the interest of Ekiti State, such actions should follow the rule of law.
“We deplore this act of brigandage and call on Governor Fayose to offer an unreserved apology to MACBAN, and equally set machinery in motion with a view to compensating our members who lost five cows in this primitive adventure.”
Ngelzarma also pointed out that the actions of the vigilante group, popularly known as ‘Anti-malu’ is even outside the term stipulated by the Ekiti State anti-grazing act, “if the law exists at all”.
He called on the federal government to look into the actions and activities of the group “because we cannot fold our hands while the only means of survival of our members is taken away and destroyed.”
“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 incident develops into unquenchable inferno involving our members and Ekiti State government,” the group warned.
MACBAN, however, sympathized with the government of Kaduna State, and the people of Kaduna South over the recent attack on Godogodo community by people suspected to be Fulani herdsmen.