The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, has said that Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, is like Afenifere and Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo socio-cultural groups and thus should not be criminalized.
Shehu also defended the meeting between the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu and the leadership of the Miyetti Allah.
Speaking on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily on Tuesday, the presidential spokesman told Nigerians not to politicize the meeting.
“It is a mistake to say the Nigerian government is talking to bandits.
“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,” Shehu said
When asked if it is true that the herders were offered N100m to help maintain peace, Shehu replied: “That is 100 per cent untrue. I have confirmed that in all the meetings held, money was never discussed.
“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,” Shehu said.
The presidential aide also said it did not directly translate to amnesty, adding that “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.”