Wole Ayodele in Jalingo
Taraba State Government and the state police authorities have described the purported killing of 50 cattle breeders in the state as falsehood, misleading and a calculated attempt to scale up the promotion of violence in the state.
The Chairman of state Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBA), Alhaji Sahabi Mahmud, credited to have alleged that 50 cattle breeders were killed in a fresh crisis in the state which was reported in Daily Trust of April 13, 2016 edition.
In a statement made available to journalists in Jalingo which was signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the state governor on Media and Publicity, Mr. Sylvanus Giwa, the state government described the report as a calculated effort by the leadership of Miyetti Allah to make mockery of the recent killings of 44 people in the state by Fulani herdsmen.
In the same vein, the state police command has equally described the report as complete falsehood as it declared that there was no record or report of the purported killing, saying it was a figment of the imagination of the authors.
Debunking the report credited to Mahmud, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Joseph Kwaji, said there was no such incident in the state, and wondered why such a sensitive report would not be cross checked with the police before publication.
According to him, “The report is not true. There is no such incident. I want to advise journalists to always cross check with the police before publishing such sensitive reports in the interest of peace and security.”
The statement issued by Giwa stated that: “The attention of Taraba State Government has been drawn to a publication captioned: ‘50 cattle breeders killed in fresh Taraba crisis’ dated April 13, 2016, in the Daily Trust newspaper and credited to the chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Taraba State chapter, Sahabi Mahmud.
“As a matter of fact, the report is not only misleading, false and mischievous but an attempt to scale up the promotion of crisis in the state. The purported publication is also a calculated effort by the leadership of Miyetti Allah to make a mockery of the victims of the recent attacks by the Fulani herdsmen who allegedly carry sophisticated weapons and use same to unleash terror on the harmless and helpless innocent people of Dori, Maisuma,Angai, and Fali villages in Gashaka and parts of kurmi Local Government Areas of the state.”
The state government further noted that the position of Miyetti Allah as captured by the paper could best be described as a ploy to shield its members who are strongly suspected to be responsible for the attacks on the aforementioned communities.
To further puncture the allegations, Giwa noted that the Miyetti Allah chairman failed to present the photographs of his members who were purportedly killed in the crisis as was done by the police and the state government while presenting the gory details of the 44 people killed by the herdsmen.
He equally stated that it is unfortunate and disheartening that an association like Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders of Nigeria is not looking at the need for oneness irrespective of background but weeping up religious sentiment into the recent attacks on the innocent villagers who have lived for decades without any crisis.