•Monguno urges parties to embrace government initiatives
The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) and Association of Christian Traditional Rulers of Nigeria (AOCTRON), have said that they have a winning formula to end the bloody conflict between the farmers and herdsmen across the country.
This was the highlighted during the Tuesday’s visit of the leadership of MACBAN and AOCTRON made up of the traditional rulers in the South East and South South geopolitical zones to the National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj-Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd), in Abuja.
According to the Zonal Chairman of MACBAN in the South East zone, Mr. Gidado Siddiki, the two groups are committed to the peaceful coexistence of Nigerians wherever they find themselves in the country.
Siddiki noted that AOCTRON and its members have always stood by them to confront the challenges they encounter while plying their trade of cattle rearing in Southern Nigeria.
He noted that their aim was to introduce the strategies being championed by the leaders of this group, whom he said “have demonstrated profound understanding of the need for peaceful coexistence amongst Nigerians wherever they might be in Nigeria”.
The MACBAN however, urged the NSA to appreciate the governors of Enugu and Anambra states “for their commitment in propagating warmth and commonality amongst Nigerians which project is of major interest to your office”.
Siddiki further implored Monguno and Federal government to galvanise all relevant stakeholders who seek peaceful coexistence among Nigerians irrespective of their affiliations, political or religious. According to him, this is one of the reasons that informed their visit and consultation.
He said: “We look forward to visiting all the major flashpoints of insecurity in the country, particularly where herdsmen and farmers seem to he at war against one another, with the intent of soliciting for peace.
“We are encouraged by the viability of the peace initiatives operational in some states in Southern Nigeria, Anambra State for instance. We freely proffer such formulas as viable options.”
In the same vein, the founder of Association of Christian Traditional Rulers of Nigeria, Rev. Gbenga Ademuyiwa, said the two groups have been working hard for months to ensure peace amongst farmers and herders in the country.
Ademuyiwa noted that resolving Nigeria’s conflict and farmer-herders issue in particular is simple if their strategies could be applied.
To this end, he appealed to the federal government to give them the opportunity to solve the security problem in the country, adding that strategies have been mapped out to sustain peace between the two groups.
He said: “The problem of Nigeria is a very simple thing to solve and I assure you that peace will reign if the federal government and NSA will look into their solution.
“We want to ensure that this massive killings in the six geopolitical zones of the country stops. We have our strategies to solve them. We have mapped out strategies but all we are asking is that federal government to give us the opportunity to solve this serious problem.”
Responding, Monguno expressed delights with the move by the two groups to maintain peace in the country.
He said that federal government is happy with the peace initiative and that President Muhammadu Buhari is determined to ensure lasting peace in the country.
The NSA however, urged all parties in the conflict to embrace the initiatives of the government towards peace.
He also used the opportunity to encourage the leaders to eschew the attitude of revenge as part of efforts to restore peace in the country.
“It is in this regard that I urge every party in this conflict to embrace all government initiatives to ensure peaceful coexistence and secure society only through which the economy can thrive. So we must as a people find ways that reject revenge, aggression and violence in resolving conflicts,” he said.
Monguno further remarked that the country diversity is a blessing, noting that the farmers/herders conflict in the country was being manipulated by mischief makers.
He added that the conflict had nothing to do with religion and ethnicity as being claimed.
The meeting was also attended by the General Secretary of Christian Traditional Rulers of Nigeria, Imperial Majesty, Eze Nzekwe Nkele who led the leadership of AOCTRON; and the National President of MACBAN, Alhaji Muhammad Kiruwa who led his group.