Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku, on Sunday said he would not fall for “cheap blackmail and propaganda” of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association.
Ishaku stated this while reacting to the allegations by the National Secretary of Miyetti Allah, Baba Usman, that the state government was training ethnic militia against Fulani and that the governor should arrest and prosecute masterminds of crisis against Fulani in Lau.
But the governor who spoke through his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Bala Dan Abu, said the Miyetti Allah group was “trying desperately to turn the truth upside down” and that government will not fall for what he called “their cheap blackmail.”
“The people who were given mass burial were not Fulani. National television stations and newspapers published the story. No single Fulani man was killed; instead, they were the killers.
“I challenge them to come out with evidence against the governor that he is training ethnic militia against Fulani.
“They should also name the location where the training is taking place so the security agencies can move in to effect arrests.
“We are aware of their plot to stop the implementation of the Open Grazing Prohibition law in the state, which is due to commence soon.
“But the governor won’t be deterred in his quest to restore peace to the state,” he said.
Governor Darius Ishaku’s Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs, Emmanuel Bello, in an email said government had not established a militia anywhere, “as the governor believes in peace and not violence.”
“The anti-open grazing law is clear about many of these issues and it has the agreement of all stakeholders in the state.
“A law is something that should be enforced, especially when there are people who may want to disobey it.
“The Lau crisis is under serious investigations to establish remote and immediate causes.
“In every crisis, truth is often the first casualty. The truth will unravel everything with time.
“The police are investigating the killings and the killers will be known soon,” he said.