Garba Shehu said herdsmen have only been involved in criminal activity that has not threatened the country's sovereignty.
The presidential spokesman disclosed this while speaking during an interview on Channels TV on Thursday, September 21, 2017.
While defending the government's decision to tag separatist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as terrorists, Shehu said herdsmen have only been involved in criminal activity that has not threatened the country's sovereignty.
He said that while the Federal Government is also doing its best to curb the menace of herdsmen who have been involved in a series of violent clashes in the past few years, they're only criminal gangs, unlike IPOB.
He said, "There is a difference between a criminal activity and a terrorist activity. Yes, some Fulani herdsmen are a criminal gang and they are being dealt with according to the law, but IPOB, like Boko Haram, has a territory they have carved out to themselves as a sovereign state.
"They have shown the willingness to invade other neighbouring states. They have raised concerns in neighbouring Kogi and Benue states. They have said they are interested in taking over Bayelsa and Rivers.
"That is exactly what Boko Haram has done. This is not acceptable to the law of the country."
On Wednesday, September 20, the Federal High Court in Abuja granted the Federal Government an interim injunction proscribing activities of IPOB.
This came after the separatist group was officially branded a "militant terrorist organisation" in a statement by Director, Defence Information (DDI), Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, on Friday, September 15.
This was followed up by an official proscription of activities of the group by the South East Governors' Forum later on Friday after an emergency meeting in Enugu.
Chairman of the forum, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi requested the group and other such groups to articulate their grievances and send to the forum.