Ohaneze Ndigbo asks Garba Shehu to apologise for comparing them and Afenifere with Macban

PAN-cultural Igbo organisation Ohaneze Ndigbo has condemned a recent statement by President Muhammadu Buhari's spokesperson likening it to the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders’ Association of Nigeria (Macban) saying there is no basis for comparison.


Earlier this week, presidential spokesman Mallam Garba Shehu had defended the government entering into talks with Macban over the recent murderous activities of Fulani cattle herdsmen, saying it is just another pan-cultural organisation. According to Mallam Shehu, Macban was no different from Ohaneze Ndigbo or the Yoruba grouping Afenifere and the government was right to negotiate with it.


Macban's members have been accused of being responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent Nigerians as heavily-armed Fulani herdsmen have ransacked villages in a violent orgy. President Buhari has come under fierce criticism for not clamping down on Macban but Mallam Shehu said they are just a Fulani cultural association and it was right that the government should talk to them.


Chuks Ibegbu, Ohaneze Ndigbo's deputy publicity secretary condemned Mallam Shehu's comments, noting that Afenifere and Ohanaeze could only be compared with the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), the apex northern socio-political group. He asked Mallam Shehu to apologise to Ohanaeze and Afenifere for what he described as verbal mismanagement.


Mr Ibegbu said: “Garba Shehu committed a grave sin by such comparison between peace and pieces. Ohanaeze and Afenifere represent peace and Miyetti Allah represents pieces.


“It is like comparing the Vatican to Afghanistan.  How can a group that encourages, supports, claps for and prods killers and terrorists be compared with Ohanaeze Ndigbo or Afenifere?”