Taraba Govt. Dismisses Miyetti Allah’s Claim Over Fresh Killings

Darius-IshakuThe Taraba State government has described the recent claim by the state chapter of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria that no fewer than 50 of its members have been killed in fresh outbreak of violence in the state as complete falsehood and “a ploy to shield its members who are strongly believed to have carried out attacks”.
The Chairman of MACBAN in Taraba, Alhaji Sahabi Mahmud, had while speaking to reporters in Jalingo, the state capital last Wednesday, alleged that 50 members of his association were killed in the current crisis between herdsmen and Ndoro people in Gashaka Local Government Area of the state.
While describing the fresh violence as a misunderstanding between resident herdsmen and farming communities, Mahmud decried the state police command’s handling of the matter, saying it (police) took sides by persecuting the herdsmen, including the arrest of one Ardo Ayuba, who he noted was not even a resident of the affected area.
But the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Darius Ishaku on Media and Publicity, Silvanus Giwa, who faulted the claim in Abuja yesterday in a statement, said: “The claim by the leadership of Miyetti Allah was a mockery of the victims of the recent attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen who allegedly carried sophisticated weapons and used same to unleash terror on harmless and innocent people of Dori, Maisuma, Angai and Fali villages in Gashaka and parts of Kurmi Local Government Areas of the state”.
According to Giwa, the Miyetti Allah chairman failed to present evidence (photographs) of his members that were purportedly killed in the crisis.
“The police and the state government, on the other hand, presented gory photographs of the victims to buttress every point on the matter. Therefore looking at the scenario, one would know who is telling lies to cause more harm than good in this matter”, the statement said.
It further said it was disheartening for Mr. Mahmud, who is a civilian, to assume the position of a security chieftain by suggesting which measures should be adopted by the commissioner of police, Shaba Alkali, on how people believed to be culpable in the crisis should be treated simply because his Ayuba was arrested in connection with the crisis.
“According to intelligence gathered, the crisis started in the area when some suspected herdsmen killed a woman believed to be Ndoro by tribe when she resisted rape on her farm. This is contrary to what Miyetti Allah said”, Giwa’s statement added.
He said the Gov. Ishaku-led administration was determined to bring the perpetrators of the act to book, with a view to ensuring peace.
“Since he assumed office, Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku has continued to emphasise the need for harmony and peaceful coexistence among the various communities in the state”, Giwa said.