- The Nigerian government has dismissed the claim that it offered N100 billion to herdsmen as parts of its efforts to address insecurity
- In a brief Twitter post, the presidency admitted meeting with herdsmen but said the issue of money was never discussed
- Also reacting, presidential aide Bashir Ahmad berated Dele Momodu, a popular Nigerian journalist who shared the video
The presidency has reacted to a video report claiming the federal government offered N100 billion to herdsmen to stop the menace of kidnapping.
The report by Roots TV claimed that the federal government represented by former minister of interior, Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau, met with the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association in Kebbi state and offered them N100 billion over two years to stop the kidnapping in the country.
The report also claimed that Dambazau said the move was to address the issue of insecurity as the prescribed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
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However, in a tweet posted on Sunday, January 24, the presidency debunked the claim, saying the information contained in the video is "absolute falsehood".
Noting that the video first made the rounds two years ago, the presidency quoted presidential spokesman Garba Shehu as saying at the time:
“That is an absolute falsehood. In all of those meetings, nothing like money was discussed.”
In his own reaction, President Muhammadu Buhari's aide on new media, Bashir Ahmad, tackled Dele Momodu, a veteran lifestyle journalist, who shared the video on Twitter.
"You just love to mislead people. I doubt if you read the story before sharing, the story is 100% against the misleading point you were trying to make.
"The PMB Presidency has never offered money to any criminal group to stop their atrocities. And the video you shared is very fake."
In another related report, Nigeria's prominent human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), has accused the federal government of portraying itself as the defender of herdsmen in the country.
The senior lawyer made the accusation when he appeared as a guest on a Television Continental (TVC) programme on Sunday, January 24.
Falana also called on the herders association, Miyetti Allah, to meet with Governor Akeredolu and register its members so that they can continue with their cattle rearing business in the state.