We’re not a criminal group, Miyetti Allah refutes Ortom’s claim

The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria has said he had no hand in the attempted assassination of Governor Samuel Ortom by gunmen two days ago. The Secretary-General, MACBAN, Usman Baba-Ngelzerma, said this today. Gunmen suspected to be herdsmen numbering about 15 had attacked Governor Ortom in his farm at Tyo-Mu community, near Makurdi, the state capital two days. Addressing newsmen in the wake of the incident, Ortom had said his attackers were “herders”, attributing the move to his campaign against killer herdsmen, who had been attacking farmers in the state and other parts of the country. The governor had linked the assassination attempt to Miyetti Allah (Kauta Hore) Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN. The governor claimed that MACBAN had concluded plans to assassinate him over his position on open grazing. Ortom alleged that the Myetti Allah took the decision to eliminate him during a meeting they organised recently in Yola. He noted that his life is in the hands of the Supreme God and no Fulani man can kill him. He said he received intelligence that the Association planned to kill his security aides and subsequently capture him alive. “I was alarmed for singling me out as the only person who is creating problem for the entire Fulani race and behind the scenes, I also heard that in the meeting, I was targeted for elimination. This was the information I got that they will go after me either in my home, farm or wherever they get me,” the governor had alleged in a statement after the attack. But speaking today, MACBAN dissociated itself from the attempted assassination. “First, we have to condemn the attack. Then, secondly, if there was an attack, that must be a criminal activity which must be directed to the security agencies for proper investigation.” “As far as we are concerned, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association has never had meeting anywhere in Adamawa State because I read on social media that there was a meeting in Adamawa State where that arrangement was made. My association did not have any meeting in Adamawa State. “Our association is not a criminal association, we don’t know anything about any attack anywhere. If there was an attack, let the security agencies find out who attacked him. That is the proper channel to be followed, you don’t politicise criminality. Crime is a crime by whomever. Let the security agencies fish out the perpetrators of the act,” Baba-Ngelzerma told Punch. Governor Ortom has been a strong voice against open grazing and carrying of arms by Fulani Herdsmen. He has instead, advocated ranching as a modern and better method of animal husbandry.

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