Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, through its secretary, Mr Saleh Alhassan, has said the herdsmen group truly requested the payment of N100bn to herders from the federal government.
Speaking to newsmen on Thursday, Alhassan said the money was meant for the construction of ranches and not for amnesty as reported on social media.
He said that former President Goodluck Jonathan had earlier promised to give them the money and that was what informed their decision to support his re-election in 2015.
But as soon as Jonathan left, Alhassan said the initiative was suspended, hence the decision of the group to present the matter to the President Muhammadu Buhari government.
The revelation is coming barely a week after the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, and some government officials denied promising to pay Miyetti Allah N100bn as amnesty to curb the rise in banditry, kidnapping and killings, as reported in some media.
When 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.”
“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,” he said.
“If we are going to have ranches, definitely, some support would come from government,” he said.
“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.”