Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria has urged all tiers of government to extend palliative to the pastoralists community to cushion the effects of Coronavirus pandemic on them.
Alhaji Othman Ngelzarma, the National Secretary of the association made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Abuja.
Ngelzarma frowned at the negligence of the pastoralists community for decades by the governments in terms of policies, programmes and incentives in such pandemic situations.
He said that in the event of any outbreak and societal vices that they had never benefited or enjoyed anything from the government.
He noted that since the outbreak of coronavirus that other sectors of the society were given some forms of palliative, nobody considered extending such to the pastoralists to cushion the effect.
According to him, the pastoralists are the worst affected in any societal vices be it cattle rustling, banditry, insurgency, kidnapping and the current pandemic yet the government never thought of extending a helping hand to this group for decades.
“I appeal to the government to find ways of extending the palliative to reach the pastoralists community in the country which has been their plight.
“They have been neglected for decades; they have never enjoyed anything from the government till date.
“Even with this pandemic nothing much is done to them to cushion the effect on pastoralists in the country.
“None of the palliatives designed has reached an average pastoralist community living within the communities in this country.
“All these news about ranching, Ruga, colony and whatsoever is just on paper, till date we have not seen a pilot plan put in place to address the plight of the pastoralists being the worst affected by all the vices taking place today in the country.
“Is it insurgency, cattle rustling, kidnapping and banditry? Of all these vices happening in the country the pastoralists remain the worst affected.
“A lot of families were rendered poor, lost their financial fortune, lives, loved ones and portion due to societal vices.
“It has been on the news daily that bandits have ransacked a community wrestled and went away with 100,000 of cattle, so, who are the sole owners of those cattle they remain the pastoralists,” he pointed out.
The national secretary lamented at the poor condition of pastoralists and explained that in states like Zamfara and Katsina where pastoralists predominantly occupied in the event of banditry they became both victims and culprits.
According to him, in spite of these challenges the pastoralists are neglected, they are not given attention by the government.