By Jude Atupulazi
The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, Southeast Zone, is wishing Christians a happy Christmas celebration. This was contained in a goodwill message by Alhaji Gidado Siddiki, Southeast Zonal chairman of the association.
In a press statement signed by Siddiki on behalf of MACBAN, Southeast Zone, the association said it heartily felicitated their brothers and sisters of Igbo extraction, particularly those in their major host communities in the Southeast Geopolitical Zone, on the celebration of Christmas.
‘We in Miyetti thank God for his benevolence in keeping all of us through the challenges of 2019. We pray that God continues to preserve us beyond the outgoing year to prosperous and more peaceful life ahead,’ the statement read.
It further thanked God for His mercies, even as it appreciated the governors of the five Southeast states for what it termed the bold expressions of their belief in one Nigeria where Nigerians should be at liberty to legitimately ply their trades without undue bottlenecks consequent upon not being natives of designated places.
It also appreciated the governors for individually and collectively accommodating their people in their states and listening to them, particularly at very trying moments in the course of the year, when, it noted, the unruly activities of criminals in the wild tended to lead to a blanket demonization of their herdsmen.
‘At such times, our insistence that criminals, whoever they might be, should be isolated from the masses and appropriately brought to book, was heeded; and with the governments of the Southeast states engaging our people and the natives in strategic neighbourhood security monitoring, the frequency of sore instances of criminality has drastically reduced,’ the release further noted.
Siddiki commiserated with families who lost loved ones to robbers, kidnappers and other criminals and noted that their activities heightened anxiety on both sides.
He also thanked frontline traditional rulers, religious leaders and other South Easterners who sued for peace whenever conflict threatened communality and peace.
‘I thank the Nigeria Police and other arms of Nigeria’s law enforcement agencies for being responsive to peace demands in the South East and in Nigeria.
‘It is only appropriate that I pay unreserved homage to my national chairman and the national officers of MACBAN for their commitment towards harmonious coexistence between herders and their host communities across Nigeria. I thank them for trusting our judgments and our counsels in our zones. This invariably is the reason we are able to record the successes credited to us as bridge builders,’ Siddiki stated in the release, while expressing optimism of greater understanding and enhanced peace among Nigerians.