The National Secretary, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Mr Saleh Alhassan, has said his group indeed demanded from the Federal Government the payment of N100bn to herders but for the construction of ranches and not for amnesty as reported on social media.
Alhassan made the clarification in an interview with The PUNCH on Thursday.
He claimed former President Goodluck Jonathan promised to give them the money and that was what informed their decision to support his re-election in 2015.
The Miyetti Allah chief, however, said that after Jonathan left, the initiative was suspended, hence the decision of the group to present the matter to the President Muhammadu Buhari government.
Asked why N100bn should be paid to violent herders to stop kidnappings, Alhassan said, “That is a mischievous statement. Do they pay money like that? Have they ever paid any money like that? That N100bn has been on the table for mini-ranches since 2014 when (former) President Goodluck Jonathan was trying to address the lingering crisis between farmers and herders.
“So, part of that money was, I think, used by state governors under the committee chaired by the then Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam. But I don’t think the bulk of the money has reached the pastoralists, the herders.
“As part of that policy, they (the Federal Government) are trying to see how they can now assist livestock producers to address farmers/herders conflicts via a policy.”
He added, “So, people now saying they have given Miyetti Allah N100bn to stop kidnappings are just being mischievous because from what we have observed, there are certain people that are twisting narratives.”
Alhassan lamented that some Nigerians didn’t want any kind of support to come from the government for livestock development.
“If we are going to have ranches, definitely, some support would come from government,” he said.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, and some government officials had come under fire last week for allegedly promising to pay Miyetti Allah N100bn as amnesty to curb the rise in banditry, kidnapping and killings.
However, both the police and the Presidency denied ever discussing money with herdsmen.
Alhassan said there was nothing wrong if Buhari honoured a promise made by Jonathan to the farmers.
“If today, the Buhari government sees policy that was there since 2014 and wants to see how it can be implemented by supporting cattle breeders, not just Fulani but anybody that is breeding livestock, to access facility like the Anchor Borrowers you have with the Central Bank of Nigeria, I don’t think it’s something that calls for propaganda.”
Legendary Football Star, Diego Amando Maradona Dies at 60
Diego Maradona, one of football’s greatest-ever players, has died. He was 60 years.
The 1986 World Cup winner had surgery to remove a blood clot on the brain earlier this month. The Argentine Football Association confirmed he had died this afternoon.
“The Argentine Football Association, through its president Claudio Tapia, expresses its deepest sorrow for the death of our legend, Diego Armando Maradona. You will always be in our hearts,” they said.
Another of football’s greats, Pele, has led the tributes to: “Certainly, one day we’ll kick a ball together in the sky above.” Follow latest updates and reaction here.
Dr Leopoldo Luque, Maradona’s personal physician, said the former player had shown signs of improvement after a successful operation three weeks ago.
Dr Luque said Maradona “laughed” and “grabbed my hand” just a day after he had the procedure.
“Diego is without any type of neurological deficit, without any type of complication associated with surgery,” Luque said, addressing reporters at the clinic’s door.
“He has an excellent post-operative period, the laboratory parameters even improved.
“The first impression is it is favourable, but it is difficult to evaluate.”
Gbajabiamila Asked to Cough Out N500m As Compensation for Family of Slain Vendor
The family of Ifeanyi Okereke, the vendor killed by a security aide of Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house of representatives, is demanding N500 million from the number four citizen.
Last week, Okereke was shot by Abdullahi Hassan, a Department of State Services (DSS) operative attached to the speaker.
According to PUNCH, the demand was contained in a letter addressed to the speaker by Mike Ozekhome, counsel to the family.
In the letter dated November 23, the Okereke family said the demand is not enough to replace their son.
“Our clients have instructed us to make from your good self, the following modest demands: That you use your good offices to ensure the immediate prosecution of your security aide (Abdullahi Hassan), who went on a frolic of his own, clearly acted outside the purview of his duty and responsibility by shooting to death an innocent, harmless and armless citizen,” Ozekhome said.
“That you adequately compensate the Okereke family with a modest sum of N500m only.
“This monetary demand can never adequately replace or take the place of their son, husband, brother, and breadwinner’s life. But it will at least mitigate the obvious trauma and hardship the premature demise of their irreplaceable breadwinner has placed on them.”
The lawyer said if the speaker fails to accede to their demand in seven days, they would take legal steps.
“Take note therefore that it is our clients’ firm instruction that in the event that you fail, refuse and/or neglect to accede to or proffer reasonable compensatory terms to our above modest demands within seven days from the date of this letter, we shall without any further correspondences from us, take appropriate legal steps to enforce our clients’ constitutional rights,” he said.
Gbajabiamila said he has handed over the aide to the DSS for discipline.
He has also visited the family of the deceased to condole with them.
Lekki Shootings: CNN is Desperate, Presented Doctored Video – Lai Mohammed
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has accused CNN of desperation over its second report on the Lekki toll plaza shootings that happened on October 20.
The Minister said this on NTA on Wednesday.
CNN had on Tuesday released a second ‘investigative report’ on the shootings at Lekki toll plaza during the #EndSARS protests amid threats of sanction from the Federal Government.
But the minister faulted CNN’s reports, saying it lacked credible sources.
When asked about the second CNN’s report, Mohammed said, “It shows that they (CNN) are desperate. The so-called recent development has been seen before. There is nothing new. If there is anything new, it is a contradiction of CNN’s position.
“What we are asking CNN is that where is your evidence? The military has been consistent. CNN contravenes the basic principles of journalism – fairness, and balance.
‘They did the story without contacting the Federal Government for its own side. They relied on second and third parties narratives.
“They (CNN) were caught spreading fake news and they are trying to escape.
“We are accusing them (CNN) of basing their stories on videos sourced on social media. CNN has been inconsistent. It also doctored the video it got.
“We are confident in our position.”
On the letter addressed to Jonathan Hawkins, VP (Communications), CNN Centre, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, the minister said, “We have received an acknowledgment and we were told that the letter has been passed to the editorial team.”
CNN, in its second report titled, ‘Analysis of CCTV footage from Lekki toll gate raises new questions about shooting’, stated that it had obtained the video and subsequently analysed its content.
CNN also compared the CCTV footage with some of the videos on social media which the National Broadcasting Commission had sanctioned three local television stations for using and concluded that the authorities had more questions to answer.
The fresh report also shows the Commander, 81 Division, Brig.Gen Ahmed Taiwo, admitting before the judicial panel that his men indeed took live ammunition to the tollgate.
The CNN report also highlights the fact that Brig.Gen Taiwo’s claim is at variance with that of the minister who had claimed last week that the army fired blank bullets.