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Plateau Killings "Life of a human being is so precious", Miyetti Allah condemns attacks

The association said it always encourages dialogue as the solution to conflicts.

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Herders-Farmers: Miyetti Allah groups outline steps to peace play

National secretary of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Usman Baba-Ngelzarma

(Channels TV)

The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has condemned the gruesome killing of at least 100 people in Plateau state in attacks allegedly carried out by herdsmen on Saturday, June 23, 2018.

Muslim Fulani herdsmen were reported to have killed dozens of people in several communities in Plateau on Saturday, leading to subsequent retaliation by locals who reportedly targeted Muslims in some communities.

MACBAN has been publicly condemned for the killings amid accusations that it condones the attacks carried out by its members.

However, while speaking during an interview on PTV Online on Tuesday, June 26, MACBAN's national secretary, Usman Baba-Ngelzarma, said the association is a peaceful one that doesn't encourage violence.

He said, "I'll like to honestly sympathise with the government and people of Plateau State for what happened. It's sad, it's unfortunate because the life of a human being is so precious that one wonders how people will go on killing people.

"It's sad, it's unfortunate, we have condemned it in all its ramifications and by whoever. We don't like it - we don't condone violence, we don't support it. We condemn it in its totality."

He further noted that the state's governor, Simon Lalong, has been trying to foster peace in the state but some miscreants are damaging his efforts with their actions.

He said, "We are never and will never be part of violence. Miyetti Allah is a peaceful organisation having respected northern traditional rulers as chairman and board of trustees. We don't resort to violence.

"Wherever these things happen, we always encourage dialogue for the warring parties to sit together and come up with a solution that will bring about peace."

"I was misquoted" - Miyetti Allah executive

Nigerians have been calling for the questioning of MACBAN's leadership after its north-central zone chairman, Danladi Ciroma, earlier alleged in a statement that the attacks were retaliation for the surge in cattle rustling in the state

However, during a phone-in interview on PTV Online on Tuesday, he said his initial statement had nothing to do with the Plateau State killings but about cattle rustling in another district of the state.

He said, "The paper quoted me, but I called the paper. I told them, 'How manage you misquoted me?' So I don't know of this.

"He called me and said he just wanted to equalise his speech, I said, 'No, what I said is not what you've written. Try by all means and write a rejoinder and apology. If not, within three days, I'll sue you.' I told them this.

"The information I passed is about those cattle with the rustlers but that thing happened in a different district; that district is not even close to where this thing happened. So I don't know and I didn't hear of any cow rustling in that district where those killings occured. I don't know what happened there and I don't know who are the people that did that."

He said the conflict between Fulani herdsmen and the indigenous Berom people in Plateau State is due to a culture of mistrust between both groups. He urged leaders of both groups to fish out the criminal elements among them so that peace can reign.

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