The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria has distanced itself from the assassination attempt on Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, by gunmen on Saturday.
The Secretary-General, MACBAN, Usman Baba-Ngelzerma, told The PUNCH on Monday that the group was not a criminal association.
We had earlier reported that Ortom on Saturday said suspected herdsmen numbering about 15 attacked him in his farm at Tyo-Mu community, near Makurdi, the state capital.
He attributed the attack to his campaign against killer herdsmen, who had been attacking farmers in the state and other parts of the country.
Ortom had also alleged that MACBAN met in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, recently and came up with an agenda to eliminate him.
“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 with our correspondent on Monday, MACBAN secretary-general said, “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 added.