The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, has condemned what it called blanket criminalization of herdsmen in the country.
The group said there were good people among them, and that people should not take advantage of the infiltration of the group by some criminal elements to label all herdsmen as killers.
The Chairman of MACBAN, South East Zone, Alhaji Gidado Siddiki, stated this in an Ed el Kabir goodwill message he signed, and which was also made available to journalists in Anambra State.
He said, “As I invite all in the celebration of Id el Kabir, I sincerely plead for better understanding in information peddling, so as to avoid the often misinformation, half-truths and outright falsehood that the gullible public very often gets fed with.
“I plead with the Governments, Traditional and Religious leaders, as well as other influential groups in the South East not to relent in their advocacy for peaceful coexistence amongst Nigerians wherever they choose to live and ply their legitimate businesses.
“I plead for truthfulness, fairness and restraints in information management so as to avoid tendencies of unfair blanket criminalization of any group of people.
Siddiki said he advocated that criminals, wherever they are identified, should be made to face the full wrath of the laws of the land, and that the safety of the citizens is the primary commitment of Governments; it should be so in our country.
The group appreciated the Governments and people of the South East for providing them the enablement to successfully do our business in the geopolitical zone.
It added that, “I wish to use this privilege to pray for peaceful coexistence amongst Nigerians. I wish to pray for improved peace and understanding between our host communities in the south east and our herdsmen who are genuinely engaged in the business of cattle rearing in the eastern part of Nigeria.
“I most heartily share the warm goodwill message of Id el Kabir to the entire Muslim Ummah, the Governments and good people of South East Nigeria.”