- Nigeria's federal government has defended its decision to engage with Miyetti Allah
- The federal government however denied paying N100billion to the group
- According to the federal government, Miyetti Allah, like any other trade, community, ethnic organization is a legal stakeholder in Nigeria
The presidency has described as an ‘absolute falsehood’ the allegation that the federal government gave N100billion to Miyetti Allah, an association of Fulani herders, for ‘dubious reasons’.
Malam Garba Shehu, the president’s senior special assistant on media and publicity, in a statement in Abuja on Friday, May 10.
The presidential aide was reacting to comments credited to Ohaneze Ndigbo and Afenifere, who expressed concern about the meeting between the government and Miyetti Allah.
He said: ”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.
”Miyetti Allah, like any other trade, community, ethnic organization or interest group is a legal stakeholder 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," the presidency said.
The federal government said long before petroleum became the core of Nigerian economy, agriculture was the main source of Nigerian wealth and cattle, hides and skin were a major part of Nigerian export.
”It is right to state that there are criminals among every group in Nigeria and in every country. There are criminals among the northern population as there are in the southern part of the country.
”It is not good to generalise blames. The government will engage each stakeholder and create dialogue between, and among, different groups.”
Shehu, therefore, maintained that both socio-cultural groups should not have insisted that government should not to talk to Miyetti Allah.
He added that the meeting was necessitated by ”the need to address and engage Nigeria’s ethnic, religious, cultural and economic plurality that was evident when General Yakubu Gowon introduced National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had reported that the Ohaneze Ndigbo and the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, responded to the statement by Garba Shehu, a senior special assistant to the presidency on media and publicity, that compared them to Miyetti Allah.
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