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Probe our exclusion from N500m support, Plateau MACBAN tells Remi Tinubu

The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), in conjunction with other Fulani cultural groups, have asked the wife of the president, Senator Remi…

The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), in conjunction with other Fulani cultural groups, have asked the wife of the president, Senator Remi Tinubu, to probe the alleged exclusion of their members from the N500million support offered to the victims of the various attacks and killings in the state.

On Wednesday, the state chapter of the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) accused the state government of excluding Muslims amongst the beneficiaries of the N500million support donated by the wife of the president, an allegation that was denied by the state commissioner for information, Musa Ashoms, saying the selection had no bearing with either religion or ethnicity.

It would be recalled that the First Lady had on Tuesday, during her visit to sympathise with the people of the state over the recent killings and attacks, presented a cheque of N500m to Governor Caleb Mutfwang to be disbursed to 500 families affected by the attacks in six local government areas, including Mangu, Bokkos, Barikin Ladi, Jos South, Riyom and Bassa.

Each victim is to be given a N1m donation to cushion the effects of the attacks.

But in a statement by the state chairman of MACBAN, Nuru Abdullahi, the group noted that it was surprising that the state government would submit the list of the affected people without contacting them or including the names of their members who were affected by the crisis.

Nuru stated, “We are surprised with the lopsided nature of the list of 500 families said to be victims of the recent round of crises in 6 local government areas of Plateau State.

“To our greatest surprise, when the list of the beneficiaries was unveiled by the Plateau State Government, there was no Fulani as a beneficiary. But it didn’t come to us as a surprise because the government has not been carrying us along. Fulani recorded the highest loss in the recent Mangu Local Government carnage.

“From April to July alone, over 350 persons were killed in the crises and 515 persons sustained different degrees of injury, while 115 Fulani villages were destroyed. Also, over 15,551 cows were killed. Aside that, we have 23,515 refugees in different camps. A government that intends to ensure peace shouldn’t have behaved this way.

Also, the chairman of the Gan Allah Fulani Development Association (GAFDAN), another Fulani socio-cultural group in the state, Garba Abdullahi, faulted the list of the beneficiaries, saying the state government was biased.

He said, “We are expressing our dismay over the discrimination and lopsidedness portrayed in the distribution of the money given by the First Lady, Oluremi Tinubu to people affected by the recent crises on the plateau, more especially in Mangu Local Government Area.

“None of the Fulani made the list of the beneficiaries, even with the wanton loss of lives and property by our members. We are left to wonder why the Fulani are treated this way and not regarded as human beings. This is a federal government fund but we are excluded. We are calling on the federal government to look into this issue and act accordingly and swiftly, the GAFDAN chairman said.

Plateau govt calms citizens over list

Meanwhile, the Plateau State Government has asked citizens to remain calm following the public concern surrounding the list of beneficiaries selected to receive the donation of N500m to victims of attacks in the state by the president’s wife, Remi Tinubu.

The Director of Press and Public Affairs to the governor, Gyang Bere, in a statement yesterday explained that the fund was intended to provide relief to those who have been adversely affected by the security challenges that have resulted in the loss of lives and property in several local government areas within the state.

“Once again, the government and people of Plateau State extend their heartfelt gratitude to Senator Oluremi Tinubu for her compassionate intervention. We want to clarify unequivocally that the narratives/list currently circulating on the social media is marred by inaccuracies and should be dismissed. They are sponsored by individuals hell bent on discrediting government initiatives and resolve to ameliorate the plight of the victims.

“We would like to reassure the public that we are actively working in close collaboration with the First Lady’s office to ensure that the financial assistance reaches the most vulnerable individuals who have been directly impacted by the regrettable violence and communal attacks in our state,” he stated.

It also said the government was working in collaboration with a bank to establish accounts for beneficiaries who do not currently possess bank accounts in order to facilitate direct disbursement of the fund to the intended recipients.

“Be rest assured that the Plateau State Government is committed to upholding transparency and accountability in this endeavour. The time is now to unite and build a prosperous Plateau,” he said.

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