The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has stated that it is yet to endorse any candidate or political party ahead of the 2023 general election.
The group at a press briefing on Friday in Abuja revealed that there were two factions of the group identified as the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore and the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), which is their own group.
Naija News reports that the national president of MACBAN, Alhaji Baba Usman-Ngelzarma, who made this clarification, said the group was still waiting for all the presidential candidates to answer their questions on the seven-point demands, which they raised and presented to them before they pick a candidate or a political party.
This platform understands that the other faction of the group, the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore had on Wednesday announced its preferred candidate for the 2023 presidential race.
Naija News reported that Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore declared support for the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu.
It was said that the endorsement was the outcome of extensive discussions between the Fulani Pastoralists and the representatives of the APC presidential candidate, which was concluded recently.
However, the president of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) explained that all the major political parties have not included the challenges facing the Nigerian pastoralists in their manifestos, which has made it impossible for them to endorse any candidate.
Usman-Ngelzarma advanced that “Up until now, we have not received any consent from any of the presidential candidates. So, until when we receive one before we begin to analyze and consider within the shortest time we have and decide whether we can endorse it or not.
“I presented our demands to the presidential candidates of the three major political parties, it is only Labour Party that I didn’t personally submit to but I have met with some representatives of the party and submitted the letter to them.
“So, before we decide on which presidential candidate to support, we have to sit together, analyze, and discuss with the congress because that is our difference from the other pastoralist association.
“We are going to show our numerical strength in this year’s elections. Whoever we agree to vote for will get a bloc vote. And whichever candidate we endorse will win the election because we have about 16 million registered voters from the pastoralists community in Nigeria.”
The MACBAN boss disclosed that he has gone through the manifestos and blueprints of the political parties and did not see anything that has to do with the livestock family.
He remarked that some of its members are registered members of APC while some are in PDP, Labour Party, NNPP, PRP, and other political parties, but the group’s interest has not been captured in any of their documents.
Usman-Ngelzarma further stated that “Whenever you talk of livestock in Nigeria, you are directly or indirectly talking about the Nigerian pastoralists or talking about the Fulani because they are the 98 per cent owners of the cows, goats, and sheep in the country.
“Therefore, they are the sole suppliers of protein in the country and I think Fulani are the largest single tribe that has the largest population in this country.
“So, we are a force to reckon with and we are also controlling a multi-trillion naira investment because the South Western of Nigeria alone consumes 6,000 cows daily, talk less of the South East and the remaining parts of the country.
“Unless we see how each of the political parties includes our demands into their manifesto, we cannot make any move for now because in MACBAN we have different political interests.
“MACBAN is not a political group but since we are in a political era and for us to advance our course under the present system of democratic government we have to participate.
“Our demands are that of education of our members, the development of livestock subsector because it has suffered neglect and it is still suffering neglect.
“While we are talking of over N500 billion spent on agronomy not much has been spent on the livestock so this is part of our demand.”