FULANI herdsmen’s body the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (Macban) has adopted Governor Yahaya Bello as its candidate in forthcoming Kogi State gubernatorial elections taking place on November 16.
Kogi State had been one of the main victims of the frequently clashes between Fulani cattle herdsmen and local farmers and the matter is set to become a hot election issue. In what is expected to be a straight fight between the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the main opposition the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Governor Bello’s track record over the last four years is in under scrutiny.
Apart from the fact that he has failed to checkmate the herdsmen menace, he owes years of salary arrears and Kogi State has some of the worst infrastructure in Nigeria. With Macban now endorsing his candidacy, the PDP is certain to latch on the this as basis upon which to demand change come November.
Alhaji Aliyu Saleh, Macban’s national organising secretary, directed Fulanis in the state to immediately embark on Ruga-to-Ruga campaign for the re-election of Governor Bello. He said that the group decided to support the governor for providing a secure environment for Fulanis to operate in the state.
“We are also supporting the governor for approving free Contagious Bovine Plurol Pheneumonia vaccination for over 23,000 cows belonging to our members in the state,” Alhaji Saleh said.
In addition, the group also commended Governor Bello for putting in place measures which had led to a reduction in clashes between farmers and herders in the state. It also stated that the governor had given its members a sense of belonging by appointing one of them into his cabinet and by making their leaders members of the traditional councils at the state and local government levels.
Alhaji Saleh who was flanked by the chairman of the Kogi State chapter of Macban, Alhaji Umaru Jaido, in Lokoja when making the declaration, also said that they decided to endorse Governor Bello’s candidature because of their love for President Buhari and the APC. Governor Bello is one of President Buhari’s close confidants and is regularly at the presidential villa.