By Salisu Sani-Idris
The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has called for overhauling of the criminal justice system to tackle new wave of kidnapping, cattle rustling and extortion of pastoralists.
This is contained in a communique issued on Friday in Abuja at the end of One-day National Security Conference on Pastoralism in Nigeria organised by MACBAN in collaboration with the Northern Consensus Movement (NCM).
The communique was signed by National Secretary of MACBAN, Alhaji Baba Ngelzarma and and Dr Awwal Aliyu, President of NCM.
” The summit noted with deep concern that from 2015 to date over 10,000 pastoralists were allegedly murdered, over two million persons were displaced and over four million livestock were either rustled or arbitrarily killed,” the communique said.
The communique alleged that pastoralists have suffered massive economic losses as a result of the current security challenges.
It emphasised the need for government to give priority to the integration of the pastoralist into the mainstream society through immediate and long-term interventions.
The communique stated that the summit called on the NDLEA to focus more on cleaning the stable by working to rid off dangerous drugs from the society in general and rural communities in particular.
It also stressed the need of the National Center for control of Small Arms and light weapons in collaboration with relevant stakeholders to be empowered to block all access to weapons in the society and mop up all weapons already in circulation.
” The summit appreciates the Federal Governments intent of iintervening and developing the livestock sector of the economy and call upon it to come up with a viable liveststock development programme that suits the peculiarities of the present realities.
” Government should also support more of such summits in all the crisis ridden areas with a view to coming up with possible solutions.
” The summit noted with great concern that there are over four million out of school pastoral children roaming about knowing fully well that education is a fundamental human right and bedrock of social change,” it said.
The communique noted that bandits in most rural communities lack moral and religious educationn which was a key driver in societal reorientation and transformation.
” Therefore, government, as well as individuals and NGOs should support and priorities the education pursuit of the pastoral and ruralcommunities.
” The current focus and kinetic approach in resolving the security challenges is clearly not yielding the desired results. Therefore, there is need to explore other non-kinetic options.
” The summit noted the need to occupy the open spaces across the North to totally rid them from being used as training grounds for bandits and otherer criminal elements,” the statement said.
The communique said that MACBAN and NCM appreciated governors, traditional leaders, security specialists, technocrats and the media for their support toward addressing the challenges bedeviling pastoralist. (NAN)
Edited by Maureen Ojinaka/Ismail Abdulaziz