The South-East leadership of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) said it has directed its members to relocate from Ebonyi State following the recent killings in the state.
Gidado Sidikki, the South-East zonal chairman of Miyetti Allah, disclosed this while speaking to journalists in Awka, the Anambra State capital, on Wednesday.
Suspected Fulani herdsmen killed at least 15 persons in the Ishielu Local Government Area of the state last week.
According to Sidikki, the relocation order is to enable the security agencies in collaboration with the Ebonyi State government, the leadership of Miyetti Allah, community leaders and other stakeholders to investigate the cause of the attacks on innocent people.
“We have ordered all the cattle breeders to relocate from the state for now. We are afraid they may be killed unjustly in the course of retaliation. So, we have asked them to leave the state for now and return as soon as the tension is down.
“I am sad about the incident because Fulani herdsmen in the area have been living peacefully with the host community for decades. Why now?
“The Miyetti Allah, in the zone under my watch, has been monitoring all the activities of cattle breeders grazing in the five states: Anambra, Abia, Enugu, Imo and Ebonyi, to ensure they don’t cause trouble with their host communities while on duty.
“Hence, it will be shocking if it is eventually confirmed that herdsmen are the ones responsible for the killing.”
Siddiki cautioned the herders in the region not to take the law into their hands.
He, however, urged them to seek legal redress when they face harassment and intimidation.
He appealed to security agencies to find those who recently killed at least 15 residents in the state and bring them to justice.