From Jude Chinedu, Enugu

The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders’ Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), has sought for the reconstruction and compensation of victims in the recently demolished cattle markets in parts of Southeast states.

The cattle markets located in Lokpanta of Abia state and Ugwuoba in Enugu state were recently demolished for allegedly harbouring and serving as criminal hideouts for suspected kidnappers marauding the Southeast.

But the Miyetti Allah had since denied harbouring criminals in their midst, stating that they had indeed on many occasions fished out criminal elements who infiltrated their circle and handed them over to security agencies.

In a statement, on Sunday, a chieftain of MACBAN in the South East and the immediate past Chairman of the group in the South East Zone who currently is the Director in the national body, Alhaji Gidado Siddiki said that the plight of the displaced cattle dealers in the Abia and Enugu states was very bad.

According to Siddiki the state of their members in the South East vis-à-vis the general economic hardship amidst the approaching Ramadan is too bad and needs to be looked into.

Siddiki said that while their members struggle to survive the torments of an unpalatable economic downturn like the rest of the Nigerian masses, their members in the South East are largely disturbed by the very recent tragedy of market demolitions in Lokpanta and Ugwuoba cattle markets by the governments of Abia and Enugu States, respectively.

He said: “While we recognise the need to comply with government policies, trusting that these actions are not deliberately intended to undermine our business interests, we are worried by the quantum of losses upon our people.

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“We are however most optimistic that the human face in governance will compel the Governments of Abia and Enugu States to grant the victims of the demolitions adequate compensation to enable them get on in pursuit of their legitimate livelihood.

“We are eagerly looking forward to the quick construction of new market facilities to serve our people’s business cause. We are hopeful that the government of the states will carry our leadership along in matters concerning the reconstruction.

“We urge our members to stay calm, await the final government decision, and pray for peace and stability across the South East.

“It is essential for our members to be law-abiding, avoiding actions that could jeopardize peace and stability in the region. We emphasize humility and sincerity towards our hosts for sustainable coexistence.

“In conclusion, we express gratitude to the governments and leaders in Igbo land. We urge them to further support and accommodate our legitimate business activities in cattle breeding and selling without hindrance.

“Given the itinerary nature of the Igbo race and their notable successes across the globe we are very hopeful that they will continue to accommodate our people in Igbo’s cherished homeland.

“In this season of Ramadan when we deeply reflect on life and seek positive amendments, our people are enjoined to take stock of their lives and strive to adopt better ways of living that will enhance positive and rancour free interactions with whomever they meet in the course of business and life.

“We are confident that Nigeria will get better and today’s pains will be told as an unpleasant chapter of our history as a country. We plead with our political leaders to be conscientious in formulating and driving policies that affect the well-being of Nigerians.”