The Fulani herdsmen group, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has demanded compensation from the Federal Government to its members it said were affected in the recent crisis in Benue state as well as other parts of the country, saying this will help resolve very well the clashes between herdsmen and farmers.
The National Secretary of MACBAN, Alhaji Baba Ngelzarma, made the appeal while briefing newsmen in Abuja on Sunday on the position of the association to the crisis between farmers and herdsmen across the country.
Ngelzarma said the decision was the position of members reached at the end of its National Council meeting.
He said no fewer than 1,000 of its members including women and children have been killed and 20,000 cattle rustled between June 2017 and January 2018 during crises in various states.
The National Secretary called for the setting up of a Federal Judicial Commission of Inquiry to access the killings in order to unravel the truth and offenders.
“We call on the government to pay compensation to victims of all crises to reduce their level of suffering.
“If the government accepts that, it is left for them to establish a committee that will go and access the level of damage.
“We have a document of members that were affected by the pastoralists in the North-East but what we discovered is that none of them were captured in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) programme because they are not sedentary.
“Let the government compensate. That will help calm the situation very well,’’ he said.
Ngelzarma, who said the association had over 20 million registered members and no fewer than 50 million cattle, regretted that they were the most neglected farmers in the country.
He appealed to the Federal Government to set up a Federal Ministry of Livestock Development to attend to the multidimensional needs of the industry.
Ngelzarma said the association welcomed the current resolve by the Federal Government to address the lingering crises, adding that dialogue was the solution to tackling the menace.
“We submit ourselves for any positive participation to restore mutual and harmonious relationship in the country.
“We dissociate ourselves from any other group or individual that is out to foment trouble in the country.
“We demand for immediate disarmament of all illegally armed militias across the country in the interest of peace, security and stability,’’ he said.
Ngelzarma was accompanied to the briefing by the National President, Alhaji Muhammadu Kirowa and other members of the association from different states.