- Miyetti Allah has denied involvement in the attack on Governor Ortom of Benue state on Saturday, March 20
- The herders' group's secretary-general, Usman Baba-Ngelzerma, asked Ortom not to politicise criminality, adding that he should alert the security agencies for proper investigations
- Baba-Ngelzerma said Miyetti Allah is not a criminal organisation and did not at any time meet to plan Ortom's killing as the Benue governor alleged
The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria has distanced itself from the reported assassination attempt on Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state by gunmen on Saturday, March 20.
Recall that Governor Ortom had alleged that some suspected herdsmen were behind the attack.
Attack on Ortom: Ex-DSS director sends message to Miyetti Allah, reveals what herders' group should do
The Benue state governor linked the attack to his campaign against criminal herdsmen. He further alleged that MACBAN met in Adamawa state recently and came up with an agenda to kill him.
However, Baba-Ngelzerma condemned the attack on behalf of MACBAN. He added that if there was truly an attack of the governor, the security agencies should be alerted to conduct a proper investigation.
He denied Governor Ortom's claim that MACBAN held a meeting in Adamawa state to plan his assassination just as he reiterated that the group did not know anything about the attack on the governor.
He also urged the Benue state governor not to politicise the issue, advising him to allow the security agencies to find out who attacked him.
Earlier, Mike Ejiofor, a former director of the Department of State Services (DSS), had said it was surprising MACBAN did not condemn the attack or denied involvement in the ambush almost 48 hours after the incident.
Ejiofor had called on the herders' group to come out to exonerate itself if it was not responsible for the attack, noting that "silence at times means consent".
Arewa Youth Federation reacts
Meanwhile, Governor Ortom has been asked to produce evidence that he was actually attacked on Saturday, March 20, by Fulani herdsmen.
The challenge was put forward by the Arewa Youth Federation (AYF), a socio-cultural group of northern origin.
Adamu Kabir Matazu, AYF's president, expressed shock that the Benue governor arrived at this conclusion without evidence.
Militia group claims responsibility
In another unfolding development, a group known as the Fulani Nationality Movement has claimed responsibility for the attack on the Benue governor.
The group in a statement by one Umar Amir Shehu said the attack was an assassination attempt on the governor.
FUNAM claimed that it carried out the assault as revenge for the governor’s actions against the Fulani people. However, the former DSS chief said he would consider the statement by the shadowy militia group as fake.
President Buhari reacts
Ahmad added that Buhari has called for an investigation into the incident.
According to the aide, the president said whoever is linked to the attack on the governor should be made to face the law.
Nurudeen Lawal is a Legit.ng journalist passionate about fact-checking/verification journalism. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature-in-English from Obafemi Awolowo University. As Politics Editor, Nurudeen mostly writes on Nigeria’s political and socio-economic developments. He has attended different workshops, conferences and training on fact-checking and digital reporting, among others. Learn more about him on Twitter, @Nurudeen Lawal_