By Salisu Sani-Idris
The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) on Sunday in Abuja called on the Sokoto State government and security agencies to stop alleged killings of innocent pastoralists in the state.
Its National Secretary, Malam Bello Aliyu-Gotomo, stated that wanton killing of innocent pastoralists was going on in Gwadabawa Local Government Area of the state.
“The killings, which started about a week ago, have continued unabated and more than 16 pastoralists have been killed by members of an outlawed vigilance group.
“ Reports reaching MACBAN headquarters in Abuja indicate that the killings are continuing around Tsola Bale village and its surrounding areas.
“Five pastoralists have been held hostage by the vigilance group in the last one month and all efforts to free them had been resisted,’’ he stated.
He alleged that pastoralist communities were recently attacked by bandits in the area and four pastoralists were killed, making the communities vulnerable to activities of bandits and the vigilantes.
“We alert the state government that activities of the vigilantes in the past had only resulted in heightened reprisals from bandits who have been unleashing terror in the surrounding areas.
“Security agencies in charge of these areas should do more to protect innocent people who are continuously harassed by the criminal vigilantes or rural bandits.
“We believe the security agencies have the wherewithal to put a stop to this dastardly act of cowardice against unarmed civilians,’’ Aliyu-Gotomo added.