Media aide to President Muhammadu Buhari, Garba Shehu has argued that Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) is a socio-cultural group just like Afenifere and Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo groups and should not be criminalised.
Mr. Shehu said this on Channels Television Tuesday, urging Nigerians to stop politicising the government’s meeting with Miyetti Allah as all stakeholders in the country have certain roles to play in ensuring peace and security.
To him, there was nothing wrong in the meeting between Mohammed Adamu, inspector-general of police (IGP), and the herders’ leadership in curbing arms proliferation.
He however denied that the leadership of Miyetti Allah were offered N100 billion to help promote peace.
He said,“It is a mistake to say the Nigerian government is talking to bandits,” Shehu said.
“The Miyetti Allah group is like Ohanaeze and Afenifere. It is a socio-cultural group. There are criminals within the Yoruba race and you cannot say because of that, Afenifere is a group of criminals.
“The Nigerian government is speaking with the leadership of the Fulani herders association, Miyetti Allah.”
“That is 100 per cent untrue. I have confirmed that in all the meetings held, money was never discussed,” Garba stated.
“All of the issues were about the involvement of the leadership of Miyetti Allah and getting them to prevail upon its members and they are many. We asked them to assist the administration to recover weapons which were owned by a lot of these elements.
“It is a win-win situation for all because the cattle breeders also have their issues which they brought to the government; and the more discussions take place, the more interesting it becomes.”