The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, has said the fear of Fulani herdsmen and Islamic dominance were responsible for the challenges bedeviling Nigeria.
MACBAN said the unease has provoked rumours of Islamisation and Fulanisation agendas in Nigeria.
Chairman of the group, Gidado Siddiki, made the disclosure in a message to mark Nigeria’s 59th independence anniversary, Tuesday.
Siddiki also urged the National Orientation Agency, NOA, to boost its sensitisation of Nigerians on the need to love and reduce suspicions over alleged Fulanisation and Islamisation agendas.
He said: “My organisation, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, remains hopeful that as time progresses, more Nigerians will increasingly understand its role as a trade/cultural union whose primary responsibility is to protect the interests of Fulani herders across Nigeria, while ensuring that such interests do not undermine those of other people or economic units in any part of the country.
“Nigerians should open their hearts to be more tolerant and receptive of the activities of our herders and duly feed us back when conflict brews, so that better understanding and more enduring harmony will be sought. This way, in no distant time, the friction and the suspicion will die a natural death.”
He further urged faith-based organisations, cultural and political groups to liaise freely with MACBAN on issues that arouse their suspicion and obtain clarification rather than rush to media houses, spreading confusion and unsubstantiated accusations.
Siddiki appreciated the hospitality people of the southeast have given to the group and called on persons of different ethnic affiliations to embrace dialogue and brotherhood. He further advocated increased sensitisation of leaders and opinion shapers from different ethnic backgrounds to reduce mistrust and foster peace.
“At 59 years, Nigeria can be said to have come of age. However, 59 years might not have proved enough time to offer Nigerians the height of their expectations as people. But the country has made progress even in her few stumbles in the course of growth.
“It is the ability of both the leadership and the citizens to resolve evolving differences and make progress that determines the legacies they leave for posterity. It is this ability that determines their place in history.”