Nigerians in Abuja say that the federal government’s recent decision to give one billion Naira to Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association as a way to help stop kidnappings and killings in the country’s northern region is unthinkable.
They reacted in a call-in programme monitored on WaZoBia FM station in Abuja, Monday evening. They wondered why such a huge sum would be siphoned to such a crooked deal when there are more pressing issues that need funding.
“There are several thousands of kids in the north who are not in school for different reasons,” one caller said, “Why couldn’t they invest such an amount in educating them?”
One other caller wondered why the federal government would go to the point of negotiating with terrorists. “No self-respecting government would do that,” he concluded.
Another caller said he was afraid what this development would portend in the short and short term. “Other sects would spring up, destabilise the country, and they would demand their own settlement,” he said.
In his own response, another caller wondered why the government is going this route after it claimed recently that the military had defeated Boko Haram technically.
A federal government delegation met with the national leaders of the Cattle Breeders Association last Friday (3rd May) in Birnin Kirbi as part of plans to solve the thorny insecurity challenges.
But it is not just everyday Nigerians who are shocked by this news. Several renowned Nigerians and national interests groups have spoken against the move.
“We want to warn against any financial deal with the Miyetti Allah Association in the wake of the rumour that the federal government want to allot some huge amount of money to them to partner with security agents to fight insecurity,” a statement issued by Ohanaeze Ndigbo,” reads. “ In as much as Miyetti Allah can turn a new leaf and help to ameliorate the insecurity its members contribute to, we are against using public funds to achieve this.”
“ The reported talks between the FG and Miyetti Allah leadership in Kebbi State towards finding a solution to the security challenges in the North West is in order,” says Senator Shehu Sani, representing Kaduna Central, in a tweet on Sunday 5th May. “But no public resources should be given, committed or pledged to Miyetti or any other group other than security agencies,”
Commenting on the subject to TheCable, , the national secretary of the association, Baba Ngelzarma, said it has lost hundreds of people and two million cows to the crises and recommended that compensation be paid to the victims.