Afenifere, Ohanaeze Rejects Presidency’s Comparison With Herdsmen 

Image result for Afenifere, Ohanaeze Rejects Presidency's Comparison With Herdsmen 

Joseph Bakare 

Apex Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere and its Ndigbo counterpart, Ohanaeze, have distanced themselves from comparisons made by the Senior Special Assistant to the President (Muhammadu Buhari) on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, with the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria.

Shehu had said the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria should not be criminalised because the Fulani group was in the same league with Afenifere and Ohanaeze Ndigbo.

He also defended the meeting between the acting Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, and the leadership of the Miyetti Allah, adding that the government needed the cooperation of Miyetti Allah to help in tackling weapons proliferation as the security situation in the country worsened.

But the two socio-political organisations said it was wrong to compare them with Miyetti Allah.

While Ohanaeze said it was in the same pedestal with the Arewa Consultative Forum, Afenifere but certainly not to be compared with Herders. 

Shehu, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Tuesday, urged Nigerians not to politicise the meeting as all stakeholders had a role to play in ensuring that the nation remained safe.

The police had come under fire recently for holding a meeting with the herders and urging them to assist in curbing the insecurity in the nation.

The President’s aide, however, said, “It is a mistake to say the Nigerian government is talking to bandits. The Miyetti Allah group is like the Ohanaeze and Afenifere. It is a socio-cultural group. There are criminals within the Yoruba race and you cannot say because of that Afenifere is a group of criminals.

“The Nigerian government is speaking with the leadership of the Fulani herders association, Miyetti Allah.”

When asked if it was true that the herders were offered N100m to help maintain peace, Shehu said, “That is 100 per cent untrue. I have confirmed that in all the meetings held, money was never discussed.

“All of the issues were about the involvement of the leadership of Miyetti Allah and getting them to prevail upon its members and they are many. We asked them to help assist the administration to recover weapons which were owned by a lot of these elements.”

Shehu, urged Nigerians not to politicise the meeting as all stakeholders had a role to play in ensuring that the nation remained safe.

The police had come under fire recently for holding a meeting with the herders and urging them to assist in curbing the insecurity in the nation.

“All of the issues were about the involvement of the leadership of Miyetti Allah and getting them to prevail upon its members and they are many. We asked them to help assist the administration to recover weapons which were owned by a lot of these elements.”

Shehu said it did not directly translate to amnesty, adding that “it is a win-win situation for all because they also have their issues which they brought to the government and the more discussions take place, the more interesting it becomes.”

The President’s aide further stated that state governments would be involved in the talks.

He said some of the herders admitted that they were going into crime because they had been dispossessed of their cattle by rustlers.

Shehu added, “These things are being addressed and they are moving to the next stage. In states like Kogi, Benue, Kaduna, Zamfara, Katsina and Niger, they will be talking to the governors so that you can use them. They are available so that you can help the government to caution and control some of these things unfolding.”

READ  Traditional Rulers, Security Officials Indicted In Banditry That Killed 6,319 People In Zamfara 

Add Comment