Othman Ngelzarma, the Secretary-General of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, Othman Ngelzarma on Tuesday stressed that those who attacked Benue people are killers not herdsmen.
Ngelzarma said this while absolving his association of the killing allegedly perpetrated by Fulani herdsmen in Benue State.
Featuring on Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily, the MACBAN leader maintained that herdsmen are peaceful people and not killers.
The MACBAN leader, who regretted the unfortunate killings, however called for an end to the “senseless killings.”
Ngelzarma explained that herdsmen have been in the country for several years, going about their affairs peacefully with no record of attacks.
He said, “We call them killers, don’t call them the herdsmen. We have our share of criminals too. So all these senseless killings must stop, either from the pastoralists or from the communities.
“Look at the herdsmen that we are dealing with. 10, 20, 30 years back, these were the people we were dealing with peacefully. Why can’t we ask ourselves, what is happening now?
“In some places, they were tapped as a civic crisis. In some other places, they were seen as a religious crisis. It is far from religion. It is happening in Zamfara, it has happened in Katsina, it is happening in Benue, it took place in Plateau, it is taking place in Taraba now.
“We had a situation in Cross River on the Christmas Eve (when) our members lost 200 to 300 cows in between Cross River and Akwa-Ibom and we are thankful to the governor of Akwa-Ibom. We had another situation in Enugu, so it is all over the place.
“The herdsmen who are seen as peaceful people before this time, today because of the negative profiling and political undertone that is attached to the crisis, everybody is seeing the herdsman as a criminal.”