The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has clarified issues sorrunding the alleged N100 billion it demanded from the Federal Government.
The cattle-breeding group were reported to have reached an agreement in a meeting with the government for it to be paid the said amount in a bid to find lasting peace in the Northern part of the country.
Crimes like killings, kidnappings among others has recently risen in the area and members of Miyetti Allah were alleged to be behind it.
But denying any monetary discussion was talked about at the gathering, the presidency defended the meeting as one of its measures to restore peace in the area.
“That is 100 per cent untrue. I have confirmed that in all the meetings held, money was never discussed,” Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman said.
But the group has come out to admit that monetary discussion actually held during the meeting.
Miyetti Allah stated this in a clarification it made to Punch Newspaper on Thursday. The group said the monetary discussion did not start with the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, but it dated back to the regime of former president, Goodluck Jonathan.
It added that the demand was made for the setting up of mini-cattle ranch in the country and not for mischievous purposes as reported in the media.
“That is a mischievous statement. Do they pay money like that? Have they ever paid any money like that? That N100bn has been on the table for mini-ranches since 2014 when (former) President Goodluck Jonathan was trying to address the lingering crisis between farmers and herders,” the paper quoted Saleh Alhassan, the national secretary of the group to have said.
“So, part of that money was, I think, used by state governors under the committee chaired by the then Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam. But I don’t think the bulk of the money has reached the pastoralists, the herders.
“As part of that policy, they (the Federal Government) are trying to see how they can now assist livestock producers to address farmers/herders conflicts via a policy,” the Miyetti Allah chief added.
Mr Alhassan added that since government is a continuity, there is nothing wrong if the president completed what was started by his predecessor.
“So, people now saying they have given Miyetti Allah N100bn to stop kidnappings are just being mischievous because from what we have observed, there are certain people that are twisting narratives.
“If today, the Buhari government sees policy that was there since 2014 and wants to see how it can be implemented by supporting cattle breeders, not just Fulani but anybody that is breeding livestock, to access facility like the Anchor Borrowers you have with the Central Bank of Nigeria, I don’t think it’s something that calls for propaganda,” he said.