Nigerian Cattle Breeders Pray FG for Palliatives, Support

Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has decried what it called the negligence of the pastoral community for decades by the government across the three tiers.

MACBAN said its members had been sidelined in the areas of policies, programmes and incentives.

National Secretary Othman Ngelzarma made the observation in an interview with journalists in Abuja.

Ngelzarma pointed out that in times of any outbreak and societal vices, the community of pastoralists does not benefit from government interventions.

He added that since the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the government has not considered giving support to the breeders despite extending palliatives to other stakeholders.

He said, “Pastoralists are the worst affected in any societal vices be it cattle rustling, banditry, insurgency, kidnapping and the current pandemic, yet the government never thought of extending a helping hand to this group for decades.

“I appeal to the government to find ways of extending the palliative to reach the pastoralists community in the country which has been their plight.

“They have been neglected for decades; they have never enjoyed anything from the government till date.

“None of the palliatives designed has reached an average pastoralist community living within the communities in this country.

“All these news about ranching, RUGA, colony and whatsoever, is just on paper; till date, we have not seen a pilot plan put in place to address the plight of the pastoralists being the worst affected by all the vices taking place today in the country.

“Is it insurgency, cattle rustling, kidnapping and banditry? Of all these vices happening in the country, the pastoralists remain the worst affected.”

The national secretary also pointed out that many pastoralists’ families had been rendered poor, lost their financial fortune, lives, loved ones and portion due to the attacks.

“It has been on the news daily that bandits have ransacked a community wrestled and went away with 100,000 of cattle. So, who are the sole owners of those cattle? They remain the pastoralists,” he said

Ngelzarma further lamented the poor condition of pastoralists in some states including Zamfara and Katsina, adding that they have become easy targets for bandits in those states.

The association leader, therefore, called on the government to extend palliative to the community as a way to cushion the effects of COVID-19, adding that the pandemic had eaten deep into their businesses.



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