Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, has said that Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria is like Afenifere and Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo socio-cultural groups and thus should not be criminalised.
Shehu, who was a guest on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily on Tuesday, urged Nigerians not to politicise the meeting, arguing that all stakeholders have a role to play in ensuring that the nation remains safe.
He also defended the meeting between the 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 worsens
Shehu said: “It is a mistake to say the Nigerian government is talking to bandits.
“The Miyetti Allah group is like 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.
“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 assist the administration to recover weapons which were owned by a lot of these elements,” Shehu said.