The Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku, has said the herdsmen are only trying to blackmail to be the victims of thieves, but in reality, they are killers.
Ishaku said this when the apex body of Fulani cattle herders, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, in an earlier press conference said the governments of Benue, Taraba states and others were sponsoring a hate campaign against herdsmen and also arming ethnic militias to kill them.
The National Secretary of MACBAN, Usman Ngeljarma, spoke for the group in Abuja on Sunday.
The MACBAN secretary said, “It is no longer hidden that some state governments are sponsoring ethnic militias against our people, recruiting and arming locals to kill our people and rustle their livestock as seen recently in Benue and Taraba states.”
But the Taraba State governor, who spoke through his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Bala Abu, said the Miyetti Allah was trying desperately to turn the truth upside down.
“The people who were given mass burial were not the Fulani. National television stations and newspapers published the story. No single Fulani man was killed; instead, they (Fulani) were the killers.
“I challenge them to come out with evidence against the governor that he is training ethnic militia against the Fulani. They should also name the location where the training is taking place so security agencies can move in to effect the arrest.
“We are aware of their plot to stop the implementation of the Taraba State Open Grazing Prohibition Law which is due to commence soon, but the governor won’t be deterred in his quest to bring peace to the state,” he said.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Taraba State Governor on Public Affairs, Emmanuel Bello, in an email to press men, also said the government had not established any militia camp anywhere, as the governor believed in peace.