By Salisu Sani-Idris
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has urged the new executives of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), to address emerging issues that are posing a serious existential threat to pastoralists.
Abubakar III, made the call on Thursday in Abuja, while inaugurating the 23 newly elected National Executives of MACBAN, who will steer the affairs of the association in the next four years.
Sultan, who is the Chairman, Board of Trustees of the association, said that all the executives were subjected to drugs-test by the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) before they became eligible to contest for the various positions.
The President-General of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) also urged the executives to reposition the association to address the emerging contemporary challenges confronting the Fulbe within and outside the country.
Abubakar said: “MACBAN by its reach across entire Nigeria and the Sahel should aspire to be a balance factor to the instability in Nigeria and across the Sahel.
” MACBAN could do this in articulating a Fulbe perspective in response to the present level of violence as a natural reaction to deprivation, marginalisation and balkanisation of the Fulbe into different nation states in West Africa.”
He, therefore, enjoined the executives of MACBAN along with Fulbe CSOs, NGOs and stakeholders to come up with an education policy that recognises and reflects the peculiar requirements of the Fulbe in the knowledge driven 21th century.
The Sultan also tasked the executives to examine the pros and cons of an education policy that would “insulate and isolate the Fulbe against one that makes them an inclusive egalitarian ethnic group.”
Abubakar also emphasised the need for an urgent review of the MACBAN’s constitution, adding that that the constitution of the association was due for review after 47 years of existence.
He, therefore, appointed retired Justice Lawal Gummi, the Emir of Gummi, in Zamfara to assemble a team of legal talents within the Fulbe community to assist him undertake the review of the constitution of the association.
The Sultan further tasked the executives to develop source of funding for the association to have a sustainable independent source of funding.
Earlier, the Emir of Gummi, retired Justice Lawal Gummi, explained that the 23 new executives emerged through a credible and transparent electoral process.
Also, Gov. Mai Mala Buni of Yobe enjoined the new leadership of the association to adopt new approach towards addressing the recurring farmers-herders clashes.
The governor also emphasised the need for the new executives of MACBAN to address incidences of social injustice among it members.
Buni said: “Injustice was the major factor responsible for incessant clashes between farmers and herders in some parts of the country.”
He commended the Sultan for his sustained efforts in repositioning the association and his invaluable contributions to lasting peace and stability in the country.
On his part, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Muhammad Abubakar, promised to partner the new executives of MACBAN, saying that it was the responsibility of the ministry to work with the leadership of the association.
He said: ” We have a lot of programmes at the ministry. The ministry is not just for farming, but it is also for livestock production.
“So, I will like to extend an invitation to you so that we can sit together and chat a new course for livestock rearing in Nigeria.”
Earlier, the former FCT Minister, Dr Aliyu Modibbo, urged the new leadership of the association to work towards addressing the challenges bedeviling pastoralists in the country.
In his acceptance speech, the newly elected National President of MACBAN, Alhaji Baba Ngelzarma, called on all the contestants, members of the association and other pastoralists’ organisations to partner with him in serving the pastoralists community.
” It is absolutely necessary for us to come together and forge a formidable team to address the peculiar crises facing pastoralists in the country,”he appealed.
Ngelzarma asssured that the new leadership would strive to amplify the voice of pastoralists through robust engagements with the media and by developing various platforms to bridge the gap that currently exists.
He also pledged to address issues related to grazing reserves development and modernisation of the livestock subsector.
The MACBAN national chairman also pledged to work with the state governments to come up with a settlement model that could suit the peculiarities of pastoralists. (NAN)