The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, made this known on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily on Tuesday.
He also defended the meeting between the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, and the leadership of the Miyetti Allah.
Shehu added that the government needed the cooperation of Miyetti Allah to help in tackling weapons proliferation as the security situation in the country worsens and thus should not be criminalised.
He urged Nigerians not to politicise the meeting, arguing that all stakeholders have a role to play in ensuring that the nation remains safe.
The President’s aide, however, said, “It is a mistake to say the Nigerian government is talking to bandits.
“The Miyetti Allah group is like Ohanaeze and Afenifere. It is a socio-cultural group. There are criminals within the Yoruba race and you cannot say because of that, Afenifere is a group of criminals.
“The Nigerian government is speaking with the leadership of the Fulani herders association, Miyetti Allah.”
When asked if it is true that the herders were offered N100m to help maintain peace, Shehu said, “That is 100 percent untrue. I have confirmed that in all the meetings held, money was never discussed.
“All of the issues were about the involvement of the leadership of Miyetti Allah and getting them to prevail upon its members and they are many. We asked them to assist the administration to recover weapons which were owned by a lot of these elements,” Shehu said.