The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders’ Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, has lauded Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State for his firm belief in the unity of Nigeria.
They disclosed this on Tuesday while briefing journalists at the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Enugu Press Centre, during a farewell gathering in honour of the outgoing Governor.
National Director General (Admin), MACBAN, Alhaji Gidado Siddiki said their members enjoyed a robust relationship with the people of Enugu State in the last eight years courtesy of Ugwuanyi’s style of leadership.
He said the gathering was to appreciate Ugwuanyi’s “glaring demonstration of pan Nigerian spirit while he superintended over the affairs of Enugu State. Our encounter and interactions with him all this time largely exposed his humaneness and his ‘live and let live’ disposition to life.”
Siddiki said the Governor “truly acknowledges Nigeria as one united entity where citizens are at liberty to live and earn their livelihood wherever they choose, insofar as they are legitimately engaged.
“Your Excellency recognises the fact that the numerous indigenes of Enugu State who are spread across Nigeria geopolitical space in search of decent life should not suffer any fright where they are.”
He said Governor Ugwuanyi dealt with their members kindly even in the face of daunting challenges when criminals masquerading as herdsmen infiltrated their camps and caused pain to everyone.
“While our people suffered huge losses in human and material terms from often misdirected provocations, Your Excellency would not and did not fall for the orchestrated plot to demonise a people who for ages have lived in peace with the indigenes,” he noted.
He added that the Governor’s resistance “to blanket profiling and stereotyping of a people”, stood him out as a distinguished leader and a renowned statesman.
“Though you make personal sacrifices and suffer obvious discomfort, posterity will surely be kind to you in reporting your role in holding Enugu State together and keeping Nigeria as one united country,” Siddiki said.
He expressed hope that the Governor’s successor in office will treat them kindly, pledging their support to work with the government in tracking marauders in the jungles and making the state safe for the people.
In a remark, the leader of the Hausa community in Enugu State, Alhaji Abubakar Sambo said the action of the MACBAN was commendable.
“This is the first of its kind; we have had governors in the past but appreciation like this has not been given by Miyetti Allah.
“So, I thank them for knowing fully well that the Governor has created a conducive atmosphere for their business to thrive.
“In spite of the challenges we have in Enugu State, it borders a lot of Northern communities, which makes it a gateway to Southern Nigeria, the Governor in his wisdom created an atmosphere and allowed the spirit of live and let live to thrive in the State. We cannot thank him enough,” Sambo said.
He cautioned the herders to control and educate their members on the peaceful atmosphere in Enugu State “so that they will not come and strain that relationship with the host community.”