An estate development company, TPumpy Concept, has denied claims that it made payment to a group of Fulani to procure arms.
Akintayo Adaralagbe, the Managing Director/CEO of the Abuja-based firm, while reacting to allegations that a video of him paying Fulani was to encourage them to buy weapons was false but a payment to compensate over 52 families who had settled, for over 30 years, on a land the company bought at Phase 24 in Luge, Abuja.
In the video seen by Daily Trust, Adaralegbe was seen giving a stash of cash to a group of Fulani in a bushy area and he could be heard saying that the money paid was to ensure they leave a month after the payment.
In a press conference to clarify what happened, Adaralegbe said, “The video circulating on social media that a developer was trying to induce or empower Fulani to buy arms was inaccurate. We are an estate developer and acquire our property through the right allottee.”
He stated that occasionally, when a land is acquired in Abuja, farmers and settlers are found on the land.
“In our own case, we found the farmers there which are Gbagyis and settled them on the farm crops and produce on the land. We later discovered that there is also a Fulani settlement, where they rear their cattle and have been residing for over three decades.”
“We can’t tell them just to go since we had the allocation to the land, we agreed to settle 200,000 per hut and we settled them so we are not inducing them.”
He added that the video of the disbursement of the cash was made as a form of evidence that the group was compensated to avoid accusation of displacing the settlers.
On his part, Fct Chairman of Fulani Dan Allah Development Association of Nigeria (GAFDAN), Abubakar Suleiman said he was invited by the Fulani settlers to negotiate on their behalf when they were to be evicted from the land.
“I spoke with the engineer on the land if I could speak with the owner of the land. He agreed and I spoke with the MD who came to meet us, he met the settlers with most of them over 70 years old, women and youth.”
He stated that a negotiation started on the spot on the amount to be paid as the settlers had nowhere to go having spent more than 30 years on the land.
“Anywhere they want to go, they can be attacked due to the hostility Fulani is facing now in the country. Gun-carrying Fulani herdsmen are not in Abuja and we have been working with security agencies to ensure that herders and farmers live in peace here.”
He also called on the government to help build schools to enable them to educate their children.