The Presidency has urged apex socio-cultural groups, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Afenifere, to show respect to Miyetti Allah, the Fulani Pastoralists’ group at the centre of herdsmen and farmer clash in the north.
Ohanaeze and Afenifere had taken a swipe at the presidency for liken Miyetti Allah to them and rumoured that the federal government gifted the latter N100bn after meeting with the group.
Discountenancing the rumour, the presidency via Mallam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media, rationalised the said meeting advising the two socio-cultural groups to accord Miyetti Allah the respect it allegedly deserves.
The statement reads in part: “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.
“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. ”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.”