The Secretary of Miyatti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Baba Othman Ngeizarma has revealed with regrets that over 20 members of his association are kidnapped daily in the forest.
He says that when one personality is kidnapped once in a while on the street it became news but people do not know what his members go through in the forest in the hands of bandits – cattle rustlers and kidnappers
According to him, what a lot of people don’t know is that before one personality is ever kidnapped in the city or on the road, twenty to thirty of our members must have been kidnapped in the forest. It is a daily occurrence, but because it is not reported by the media people don’t know about it” he revealed
He said that when this happens they sell cows to pay ransoms and because of this he said that their statistics shows that about 15% – 20% of pasturalists are trying to migrate out of Nigeria. He puts it thus, “Today our statistics shows that about 15-20% of pasturalist are trying to migrate out of the country because of the fear of cattle rustlers and kidnappers. They are moving out to go and look for safe haven”.
Baba Othman posited that one of the courses of the problems the pasturalists are facing is the removal of cattle tasks, which used to be coordinated by the leader of the pasturalists called “Arbo”. He said that it was the duty of an Arbo to inform the head of their host community the number of cows they have in the community and number of herders taking care of them. He reveals that the herders pay taxes on their head on the head of every cattle under them.
According to him, since the village heads and Local government authority don’t have the information about herders in any locality, it became hard to differentiate between real pasturalists and bandits. He then advocates for reintroduction of cattle tax.