The Presidency has said that it would continue to engage in dialogue with all stakeholders in a bid to tackle the security challenges facing the
The Presidency has said that it would continue to engage in dialogue with all stakeholders in a bid to tackle the security challenges facing the country, adding that engaging groups such as the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Afenifere and Ohanaeze Ndigbo in dialogue was part of the search for solutions and peace.
The Presidency was reacting to criticisms by Afenifere and Ohanaeze to the Federal Government’s discussions with Miyetti Allah on the security problems in the country.
“We are pleased that Afenifere and Ohanaeze 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,” the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, said in a statement.
“The point both socio-cultural groups missed, however, by insisting that government should not talk to Miyetti Allah, is the need to address and engage Nigeria’s ethnic, religious, cultural and economic plurality that was evident when General Yakubu Gowon introduced the National Youth Service Corps. The need to engage all groups is as much relevant today as it was then.”
“Miyetti Allah, like any other trade, community, ethnic organisation 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 Nigeria’s 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 blame. The government will engage each stakeholder and create dialogue between, and among different groups.”
On the allegation that the administration gave Miyetti Allah N100bn, the Presidency maintained it was “falsehood”.