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Presidency denies paying N100bn to Miyetti Allah

Valentine Chinyem

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The Presidency last night denied paying N100bn to Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) to end armed banditry, saying under President Muhammadu Buhari, dialogue remained an important tool.

Presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu in a statement said as the president had stated time and again, that transparency and dialogue were essential for public enlightenment and nation building.

“We are pleased that Afenifere and Ohaneze Ndigbo found our insights worthy of attention even when they disagreed with our view that they, as socio-cultural associations, represent same interests as Miyetti Allah, an association of Fulani herders.

“The point both socio-cultural groups missed, however, by insisting that government should not to talk to Miyetti Allah is the need to address and engage Nigeria’s ethnic, religious, cultural and economic plurality that was evident when General Yakubu Gowon introduced the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC. The need to engage all groups of Nigeria is as much relevant today as it was then,” he said.

He said the presidency’s position was that President Buhari’s government is equipped to address these issues. He said the security challenges faced by Nigeria today make the task of addressing the issues very urgent.

“Miyetti Allah, like any other trade, community, ethnic organization or interest group is a legal stake holder in our nation and should be respected. We maintain that the government needs to engage all stakeholders and seek partnership in building our country.

“The activities of Miyetti Allah do not benefit selected ethnicities or Muslims only, but everyone. Long before petroleum became the core of Nigerian economy, agriculture was the main source of Nigerian wealth. Cattle, hides and skin were a major part of Nigerian export.”