The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), a Fulani socio-cultural group, has endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election bid and pledged to mobilise 20 million votes for him in the 2019 presidential election. National President of the association, Alhaji Muhammadu Kirowa, made the declaration, yesterday, at the 2018 Annual General Meeting of MACBAN, held at the International Women Development Centre in Abuja.

“We represent over 20 million members across the country, here in attendance we have over 2,000 people who have come from all corners of the country. We have representatives from each local government, and you heard their views, they have declared their interest in Muhammadu Buhari to move to the next level. This is a majority decision of the congress. We as leaders, we don’t have option other than to follow.

“MACBAN pledges its loyalty and support to President Buhari for his laudable efforts of uniting the country, infrastructural growth of the nation and transforming the economic life of citizens for posterity,” MACBAN declared. Kirowa explained that the group decided to unanimously endorse Buhari because of the numerous achievements recorded by his administration in the areas of infrastructural development, youth employment and security. Kirowa, who was addressing a gathering of over 2,000 members drawn from across Nigeria, said that since the inception of MACBAN, no administration has addressed the plight of the herdsmen the way Buhari has done within the past three and a half years. According to him, Buhari had made significant efforts towards reviving grazing reserves across the country, thereby impacting directly in the lives of their members.

“We appreciate government’s programmes of transforming the social lives of Nigerians through empowerments, agricultural development, particularly the livestock sub sector where pilot programmes of developing water and pasture in long neglected grazing reserves has commenced,” he said. National Secretary, MACBAN, Alhaji Baba Uthman Ngelzarma, however, appealed to members of the association to be law abiding, avoid frictions and utterances capable of causing chaos in the country.

He urged the media to be conscious of their reportage which had the tendency to cause genocide, especially where herdsmen are described as killers and unwanted citizens even when, according to him, they were victims of bigotry and xenophobic attacks. “MACBAN frowns at the sensational and negative stereotyping of herders who are doing legitimate economic activity that contribute to the gross domestic product of the country and ensuring food security,” he said.

Ngelzarma said that the association would continue to collaborate with the security agencies in fishing out bad eggs within Fulani, saying “as a credible organization, we do not and will not condone criminality in whatever form by our members.” He, therefore, declared the support of MACBAN to the on-going anti-corruption crusade of Buhari in its totality, stating that corruption is the harbinger of all the tension and crisis facing the country.

According to him, it is corruption that killed the livestock industry as well as other industries in Nigeria and gave rise to unemployment, low quality education, poor healthcare and high level of poverty in rural areas. Ngelzarma expressed optimism that the Federal Government Livestock Transformation Agenda as articulated, if implemented fully, would provide a solution to the recurring herders and farmers’ conflict.

“We appreciate government’s programmes of transforming the social lives of Nigerians through empowerment, agricultural development, particularly the livestock subsector, where pilot programmes of developing water and pasture in long neglected grazing reserves has commenced,” he said. He, however, appealed to all the Miyetti Allah officials and members to be law abiding, to avoid frictions and utterances that are capable of kindling the polity and go about their legitimate endeavour through harmonious relationship.

Meanwhile, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has expressed optimism that his party will win the 2019 presidential election with a wide margin. He said the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) remains irrelevant and not an option for Nigerians. Oshiomhole stated this yesterday while speaking to State House correspondents after a closed door meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. According to him, Nigerians are not ready to vote for PDP again. He said: “PDP is just not an option; particularly when their candidate is not a new face; there is no basis for benefit of the doubt. “You can give benefit of the doubt to a stranger, not to someone who was at the heart; perhaps one of most powerful vice presidents we have ever had. “So, I am clear that Nigerians will not have any basis to give PDP the benefit of the doubt.” The APC national chairman said that PDP wanted to be in power for 60 years, but were driven out after 16 years.

According to him, no employer will recall an employee whose job was terminated due to gross misconduct and abuse of office. The APC national chairman recalled that Uche Secondus, PDP National Chairman, apologised to Nigerians, but Nigerians did not accept the apology. “I have not heard anybody say they have accepted the apology. People that have robbed you; they don’t apologise and say allow me back to your storeroom; you don’t do that. “We are certain that even as we cannot talk of any perfect situation, nothing can make Nigerians get so confused as to think that those who mismanaged yesterday and those who were at the heart of that mismanagement can be entrusted with providing leadership for tomorrow. “I do not think that is a question at all.

PDP is out of this calculation as far as I am concerned.” He said that all was set for the inauguration of the party’s campaign on Friday in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State in the South-South region. According to him, it will be the president’s first rally taking place in the South- South, which is very significant. Oshiomhole said that from all the feelers on ground, the people of Uyo and Akwa Ibom State in general are anxious to receive Mr. President and to hear his message. “We are all in good mood,” he said. Also, the former Military Governor of Lagos State, Brig-Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd) has said that all those eyeing to occupy AsoPresidential Villa should wait till 2023, as President Buhari would be returned to power in 2019.

Marwa made the declaration while fielding questions from journalists yesterday in Yola. Marwa, who is the Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee on Drugs, said he was confident that President Buhari would defeat other presidential candidates in the 2019 election.

“Buba Marwa Organization is the first to organise rally in support of President Buhari in 2016, because Buhari has done very well in three areas of economy, security and fight against corruption. “He will return for the second time by the grace of God, and for that, I have no doubt all those vying for Aso Villa should wait till 2023,” Marwa said.

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