GOVERNORS of South East, Nigeria, have rejected the proposals made by the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), to allow their members organise local vigilance groups in the South east to assist leaders in the zone, curtail criminal activities, as well as establish ranch and colony in the region, describing it as “strange.”
This was contained in a statement signed by the Chairman of the South East Governors Forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi. He said: “I find it extremely strange for anybody to think that none locals in any part of the country including south-east can be allowed to form vigilance outfit.,
“The Miyetti Allah group may have made that suggestion which I believe will never mean to form a vigilante in south-east whichever is the meaning, no governor will allow that.
He continued, “south-east governors have their local vigilance groups working with security agencies; any such demand by Miyetti group is a joke and not acceptable. Governors of the zone are doing their best and we have no problems receiving insults from our people, it is the price of leadership.
“The important thing to us is the safety and well-being of our people; the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) and other pressure groups may not have found it fashionable to insult their leaders even when their leaders may not be saints.”
Umahi said his task is to develop Ebonyi State and contribute to the rebuilding of the south-east and the country at large.
“My calling is not to insult others. Have we been fairly treated? No. Can we solve the problem by hate speeches? For me, the answer is no,” he said.
“Nobody, no matter the level of pretense can change my style of peaceful leadership. Ebonyi, in particular, has suffered so much even in the context of south east.
“We believe that we do not need hate speeches as a strategy to solve our problems.
“Finally, we insist there will be no Miyetti vigilante, no cattle ranch or colony; but we must live peacefully with herdsmen that do not destroy our farm lands, especially those that were born here and have lived peacefully with us.
“All South East Governors are together in this position,”he concluded.
Similarly, the socio-cultural umbrella body of the Igbo race, “Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo has also rejected the herdsmen proposal.