The organisation said it does not condone its members conducting business with dangerous weapons.
While speaking during an interview on Channels Television on Thursday, June 28, 2018, the association's national secretary, Usman Baba-Ngelzarma, said the organisation does not condone its members conducting business with dangerous weapons.
He said, "I lead an assocaition who looks after the lives of the legitimate pastoralist. As far as we are concerned, whoever handles a dangerous weapon is never and will not be our member, and we consider him to be a criminal. This is our position."
Baba-Ngelzarma further noted that the assocaition is unaware of its members brandishing any dangerous weapons while herding their cattle. According to him, it is cattle rustlers who attack herdsmen while armed with dangeorus weapons that gives even security operatives a tough time.
He said, "The only intelligence we have is when cows of our members are taken away by rustlers. They complain that rustlers are coming with heavy weapons, taking away their cows in hundreds and thousands.
"This is the information we always get and today, about two million cows were lost as a result of cattle rustling. This group of rustlers are so sophisticated that sometimes, even the security has to do a lot before they overcome them."
Baba-Ngelzarma's condemnation of dangerously-armed herdsmen follows a trail of criticism lobbed at the association who has been accused of condoning bloody attacks carried oit by its members.
This criticism has resurfaced in the wake of the gruesome killing of at least 100 people in Plateau state in attacks allegedly carried out by herdsmen on Saturday, June 23, 2018.
Muslim Fulani herdsmen were reported to have killed dozens of people in several communities in Plateau on Saturday, leading to subsequent retaliation by locals who reportedly targeted Muslims in some communities.
While speaking during an interview on PTV Online on Tuesday, June 26, Baba-Ngelzarma said the association is a peaceful one that doesn't encourage violence.
He further sympathised with the government and people of Plateau State for the killings, describing it as 'unfortunate'.