The immediate past Chairman of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN in Oyo State, Alhaji Yakubu Bello, has assured the government that no herder would be allowed into the State in contravention of the interstate lockdown directive of the Governor.
The former Chairman gave the assurance while reiterating an earlier warning to herders during an interaction with reporters, on Tuesday.
According to Bello, the State Chapter of MACBAN had sent what he described as a ‘strong warning’ to fellow herders from other parts of the country, especially the North, saying the warning is already yielding results as no Fulani herder had been arrested among those breaking the lockdown rule of the government.
He said, “We have heard of cases of people that were arrested for defying interstate lockdown order, whether they were coming from the North or anywhere from Nigeria, but I can tell you that nothing of such has happened here.”
Bello said the warning became imperative in view of the need to contain the spread of the novel COVID-19 in the State.
The former Chairman lamented that the group had lost close to five billion naira in the face of the spread of the pandemic in its business operations.
“It is really a difficult period for my people as they have never experienced such restriction before and in this business, I can tell you that we have lost over N5 billion to the effects of the rampaging Coronavirus disease.
“You know how this place used to be a beehive of commercial activities, people will come from all over the country and beyond to buy and sell. People sell not just cows and other livestock but personal items and household materials here, it is now like a ghost town,” Bello lamented.
He denied allegations that the Fulani settlements in the State harbours visitors who might have contacted the Coronavirus and spread the disease within the localities.
Bello appealed for the inclusion of the fulanis in the Federal and State government social investment programmes and palliatives distribution, explaining that they should not be excluded since they pay their tax and contribute to the development of the State’s economy.
“We only heard people talk about FG’s social benefits like the one they send money to the poor people in the country, none of our own people has benefited. Also, we saw pictures of Local Government Caretaker chairmen distributing the State’s palliative materials to people and we were excluded,” he said.
The former Chairman also commended the Oyo State government for adopting a partial instead of full lockdown, saying the strategy allowed the people to go after their means of livelihood.
Source: Voice of Nigeria