The Ebonyi leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), yesterday, disassociated itself from the controversial video and audio purporting that herdsmen had been attacked and chased out of the state, describing the tape as untrue. Also, Governor David Umahi has directed the immediate arrest and prosecution of those circulating the malicious message that Fulani herders were under attack in Ebonyi.
He gave the order while speaking with journalists shortly after an emergency meeting between the state government and MACBAN officials in Abakaliki. Chairman of the breeders’ body, Alhaji Usman Ishaku, in a communiqué after the parley, denied the allegation, maintaining that the nomads were enjoying their stay and were not in harm’s way.
“The audio and video in circulation on social media platforms alleging that herdsmen were being attacked and chased out of Ebonyi State are false, misleading and an orchestrated attempt by mischief makers and enemies of peace to cause disharmony between the peace-loving people of Ebonyi and Fulani herdsmen residents in the state,” the group stated.
The governor acknowledged that the tape was already causing tension in the country, especially in the state.
IN the same vein, the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has urged northerners residing in Ebonyi to disregard the fake video clip. Its spokesman, Abdulazeez Suleiman, said the film was fabricated by mischief-makers to cause inter-regional conflict, adding that Governor Umahi had promised to investigate and prosecute the culprits. He also condemned the stigmatisation of ethnic groups in Nigeria.
Suleiman said: “The CNG, like all concerned northerners, was alarmed by a video clip being circulated on the social media of a purported expulsion of a Fulani pastoral community in Ebonyi State. “The video was introduced by a faceless commentator that claimed they have destroyed the said Fulani settlement and would ensure no Fulani is seen anywhere in Ebonyi. “Worried by the tension being generated by the viral video, the CNG, cautious as always, launched an investigation through all available contacts aimed at confirming the authenticity of its contents.”
“The CNG is pleased to report that results of the investigation had proved that the clip was fabricated by some mischief makers that aimed to cause interregional conflicts.” “CNG reliably gathered from the Hausa community leader of Ebonyi, Alhaji Danjuma Mahmudu Gambo, that the Fulani were evacuating the area voluntarily and peacefully, but mischief-makers recorded and spread the video to cause disaffection.”