The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has urged governors of South East states, as well as security agencies, with putting an end to gunmen slaughtering cows in Enugu, Imo, Anambra, Abia, and Ebonyi states.
It has also condemned recent deaths by a variety of organisations, including security forces and unknown gunmen, and called for peaceful and constructive discourse.
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HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, said in a statement released yesterday in Abuja that cattle industry in the South East is not limited to Fulani pastoralists, adding that many Igbo businesspeople are also involved.
According to the group, the ongoing slaughter of cattle by gunmen who are enraged by the Fulani ethnic stock for whatever cause will have an impact on Igbo traders and sons of the land who are also involved in the cattle business in the South East.
“Security agents must end the abhorrent practise of mass cattle slaughter in the South East,” HURIWA warned. Regardless of the crimes they have committed, no one’s business deserves to be assaulted; the law should be allowed to take its course.
“Also, the fact that the cattle are not just owned by Fulani or Hausa but also by Igbo traders is sufficient grounds for unhappy citizens to stop terrorising cattle traders in the South East.”
“It is significant that the cattle business, as a business for all, provides work for teaming youths in the South East. According to Abisola Olusanya, the Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, the state eats over 6,000 head of cattle per day and over 1.8 million head of cattle per year, with a transactional value of over N328 billion. This is a substantial sum of money.
“Without making any assumptions, the overall volume of cattle consumed in the entire South East, as well as the money generated from it, should be equal to or more than that of Lagos.” As a result, it is critical to protect the cattle value chain and industry against gunman attacks, as the continued slaughter of cows in the Southeast will result in economic suffering.
“The governors of the South East must move quickly and engage in talks with all stakeholders and dissatisfied parties to resolve the situation.”