The Presidency has debunked claims making rounds in the media that the Federal Government offered the sum of N100 billion to the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN).
The reaction is coming against the backdrop of the media war going on between the Presidency and the Ondo State Government over the quit order on Miyetti Allah.
The denial was made by the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Garba Shehu while appearing on a Television Programme on Channels Television, who said no such amount was given to appease the association over the reported killing by some herdsmen.
What Garba Shehu is saying
Garba Shehu, when asked if the Federal Government offered N100 billion to the association, said, “That is an absolute falsehood. In all of those meetings, I have confirmed that in any of those meetings nothing like money was discussed. All of the issues were about the involvement of the leadership of this group in getting them to prevail upon their erring members and they are many. How do they assist the administration to recover weapons that are widely owned by these elements?’’
According to Shehu, the existence of some miscreants in a group does not entirely mean the entire members of the association are criminals.
He noted that Miyetti Allah is a cultural group just like the Afenifere associated with the Yorubas and the Ohaneze Ndigbo of the southeast.
He said, “The Miyetti Allah group is like Ohanaeze Ndigbo or the Afenifere. It’s just a cultural group. There are criminals with the Yoruba race and you cannot say because there are Yoruba criminals, then Afenifere is a band of criminals.’’
What you should know
- It can be recalled that the crisis between the Fulani herdsmen and some parts of the country came to the fore once again following the 7-day quit notice by Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, for herdsmen to vacate forest reserve area to curb the spate of kidnappings in the state allegedly committed by criminals hiding in the forest.
- However, in their reaction, the Presidency cautioned the Governor against the action saying that the herders cannot be pushed out of the reserve for any reason. They said the governor does not have any constitutional powers to ask anybody to leave the state.
- The Presidency’s reaction has drawn widespread criticisms from some lawyers and social-cultural groups like the Afenifere, Coalition of Oduduwa Elders, Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum, who have expressed support for the Ondo State Governor.