The federal government of Nigeria on Sunday denied paying N100bn to members of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) for them to stop killings and kidnappings in Nigeria.
The government reaction comes after a past video claiming the government negotiated with the group and agreed to pay them the huge amount resurfaced on the internet over the weekend.
The video which has gone viral and has been viewed by hundreds of thousands of Nigerians claimed the government offered money to Miyetti Allah in 2019 for them to stop kidnapping people.
However, a reaction from the official federal government Twitter account @NigeriaGov, denied the claims in the video.
While there was no denial of meeting with the group to bring about peace and ensure a lasting solution to security challenges facing the country, including incessant issues of herders-farmers clashes, the government denied offering money during any of the meetings.
It also recalled that the spokesperson to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mallam Garba Shehu had denied the claims in the video when it first surfaced in May, 2019.
The government wrote on Twitter: “The information contained in this video, which first made the rounds two years ago, is absolute falsehood. According to @GarShehu at the time: “That is an absolute falsehood. In all of those meetings, nothing like money was discussed.”
Meanwhile, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former presidential candidate, Adamu Garba has taken a position on the issue of cattle rearing in Nigeria which has caused a lot of controversies recently.
Garba in a statement on Sunday, made available on his Twitter account, submitted that it doesn’t make sense for cows to be roaming the streets in the 21st century.
He urged the rich and enlightened Fulani herders to assist and acquire land for grazing in order to avoid the constant clashes between farmers, herders, and host communities.
He also called on the government to be bold and speak up about land ownership in Nigeria as he noted that all lands in Nigeria belong to either the federal, state, or local governments, and no person or group can lay claim to any land without proper authorization.
Garba noted that while land issues are as old as humanity, practical steps should be taken to prevent it from degenerating into tribal and ethnic wars.